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Second City Chicago

Live Lit Bootcamp

Live Lit Bootcamp TERM 4 2014

Students interested in Live Lit and Storytelling will benefit from this high-intensity immersion, co-taught by two of Chicago's most experienced writer/performers. Generative exercises that sharpen writing, performance exercises that foster authentic, dynamic presence, and a series of writing assignments that magnify in-class insights will hone and harmonize point-of view and stage persona. Class culminates in a public performance of students' own work, followed by a final class that will give detailed, constructive feedback. This course is team-taught by Janna Sobel and Ian Belknap.

$380/$350 early registration, 3 hours, 8 weeks

Prerequisites: Open to all students

About the instructors: Janna Sobel is a solo performer, comedic actress, writer and improvisor. As a storyteller, she has featured with most live-lit events in Chicago, and has been a return feature with Story Club, This Much is True, The Encyclopedia Show, Chicago Slam Works, Essay Fiesta and Write Club. She's been a guest writer and speaker for Young Chicago Authors, Columbia College, ORD Camp and Potluck 9.0. She teaches improv, storytelling, and acting at the Second City Training Center, the University of Chicago Lab School, The Old Town School of Folk Music, and Stage 773. Janna is also an active producer and director in Chicago's live-lit/solo/storytelling community, and co-founded and hosts the show Here's the Story (now Here, Chicago). She is a member of the Real Talk Live collective. Learn more about her work at

Ian Belknap is a writer/performer living in Chicago. He is the Founder and Overlord of WRITE CLUB, the world's greatest competitive reading series, now in five North American cities. WRITE CLUB is an all-volunteer enterprise that gives a portion of show proceeds to charity. Ian also serves as the Dean of Mean at The Paper Machete. Ian is a former cast member of The Encyclopedia Show and has performed at virtually every Live Lit show in Chicago. His highly-regarded live memoir show Wide Open Beaver Shot of My Heart: A Comedy With a Body Count debuted in the Rhino Theater Fest and was later produced at The Neo-Futurists. He is curator/host of the shows Something Wicked This Way Comes (seven deadly sins-themed monologues), which appeared at Rhino Fest and later at The Garage at Steppenwolf, and Ian's Dog & Pony Show (it's a big world of funny - let's all play nice) which gathered solo performers, improv, sketch, and stand-up in a comedy mashup. Ian is writer/peformer of the solo shows Bring Me the Head of James Franco, That I May Prepare a Savory Goulash in the Narrow and Misshapen Pot of His Skull, Terminal Ferocity, and Uncle Dad is Ripshit, You Guys. FUN FACT: Live Lit is a term COINED BY IAN BELKNAP.