skip to main navigation
Second City Chicago


Study improvisation as an acting technique and its use in the development of a Second City-style revue in this advanced program, the cornerstone of The Second City Training Center. Students build upon the fundamentals of improvisation, advance their scenic and character skills, explore forms and styles and learn how to use improvisation to create material for a satiric comedy revue.

$345/$315 early registration per level, 3 hours, 8 weeks


Audition information

An audition is required for admission to The Conservatory. All students must have completed at least one full year of a progressive improvisation training program and at least one acting class at the post-high school level. If you have questions about your eligibility for the audition, please contact the Training Center.

If you have not completed the prerequisite requirements at The Second City, please submit your information via this submission form and your approval to audition will be confirmed or another program will be recommended for you. If you have not taken classes with us, it is recommended that you create a student profile for yourself when applying or you may receive a delayed response. Students who have completed part or all of the audition requirements at The Second City should submit the form or contact the Training Center to ensure the audition approval is placed on their student record. Note: It is recommended that you contact the Training Center prior to the first sign-up day to receive or confirm your approval or you risk getting shut out of the auditions.

Audition sign-up will be available online or by calling the Training Center. See the dates below for when sign-up opens and a link to the online registration system. Students are allowed to audition for two consecutive terms, but if not approved, they must wait at least one term before reauditioning.

Check out our audition guide for helpful information!

2015 Conservatory Audition Dates
February 6 (audition sign-up opens January 23)
April 3 (audition sign-up opens March 20)
May 29 (audition sign-up opens May 15)
July 24 (audition sign-up opens July 10)
September 25 (audition sign-up opens September 11)
November 20 (audition sign-up opens November 6)

Audition sign-up is available HERE.


Program information

Performances: Students in Levels 3 through 5 perform throughout the term in Donny’s Skybox Theatre or the de Maat Studio Theatre. Level 6 students perform a weekly show in The Second City e.t.c.

Current Conservatory students can REGISTER FOR CLASSES HERE.

Level 1 Audition required

    Scenic Improvisation - Building on previous experience, this level is laying the groundwork for the Second City style of scenic improvisation: creating relatable characters in believable situations. Skills include how to create environment, how to use details to inform choices, and learning to improvise off a premise. In Level 1 you'll have an emphasis on creating characters based on self.

Level 2

    Characters - Working on sustaining character, moving scenes forward, letting scenes develop and evolve. Continuing to build believable characters while exploring building your confidence are vital parts to the characters' emotional work as well.


Level 3 Audition required

Prerequisites: Students will participate in a re-admission audition at the end of their Level 2 class. Students who do not pass this audition need to wait two terms before reauditioning.

    Advanced Scene and Character Work - Expanding range of character and scene types, like presentational characters, external characters, and breaking the fourth wall. Exploring point of view.

Level 4

    Sketch Forms and Styles - Learning the elements of a Second City running order, and growing acting ability for sketch work by creating scenes in styles and forms of Theatre/Film.

Level 5

    Generating Material - Developing scene ideas, using improvisation to explore and refine them. Building elements that can be used in their Level 6 revue.


Level 6

    The Revue - An eight-week rehearsal focusing on producing and performing a Second City-style revue show.