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Toronto Training Center Toronto Training Center Student Handbook
  • Classes & Attendance

    We try to keep your class days and times consistent through each term. Please arrive on time for all of your classes. The instructor has the right to refuse late students.

    Term 1 Make-Up Schedule

    We understand that life gets in the way, and from time to time you may miss a class. For most of our class offerings you can do a make up class. If we don’t offer a make up class for the program you are in, it’s best to get in touch with your instructor and find out what you missed.

    How to do a make-up – it’s easy!
    • Choose a class to attend
    • Show up and tell the instructor who you are and your homeroom – no need to tell the office
    • Come to class early to make sure you get a spot – if the class is filled with too many make-up students, or the class is preparing for a performance, the instructor may ask you to join another class.

    Improv Classes
    • You can start making up classes after week 3 of the term, so if you miss a class in the first 2 weeks, please wait until the third week to make it up
    • Complete your make-ups before the final week – you can’t make up classes in the next term
    • You are permitted to miss 3 homeroom classes at most and do a maximum of 2 make-up classes.

    Writing and Stand-Up Classes
    • Talk to your instructor about the assignment you missed
    • Do your make-up in the same week you missed the class, including within the first two weeks
    • You are permitted to miss 3 homeroom classes at most and do a maximum of 2 make-up classes.

    Stagecraft, Specialty Courses, Longform and Conservatory Classes
    • No make-up classes available. Speak to your instructor about how to best make up for missed class time.

    You are permitted to miss a maximum of 3 homeroom classes and do a maximum of 2 make up classes.

    Once you are enrolled in your class, you are expected to attend at the same time and place each week. If your schedule changes and it is impossible for you to attend your scheduled class time, let us know as soon as possible. We will attempt to place you in a new class time which is convenient for you. If other classes within your level are full, you may need to wait a term or even two, to get a suitable time. Any student who switches class times/days without permission from the Training Centre automatically terminates her/his placement in the program and forfeits his/her tuition as a credit for future classes.

    A substitute teacher may be necessary due to our faculty being comprised of working artists.

    If at any point during class, the instructor feels that a student is engaging in behaviour which is dangerous or highly disruptive to the classroom ensemble, the instructor may require that the student leave the classroom for the remainder of that day's class. Students dismissed from class in this manner may not return to their regular class until they have spoken with The Program Head. Behaviour which would result in immediate dismissal includes but is not limited to violence, inebriation, or other actions which are disruptive to the work of the class.

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  • Things You Should Know

    Improv Shows
    We highly recommended that you see at least some of each term's Student Performances. They are every Wednesday night at 9pm in The John Candy Box Theatre and Sunday afternoons at 3pm in the Mainstage Theatre at 51 Mercer Street. Admission is PWYC. Bring your friends to catch some great improv. Improv sets after the Mainstage show are FREE to everyone! They run Monday thru Friday at approximately 9:45pm, Saturdays at approximately 12:30am, Sundays at 8:45pm.  Seating is based on availability, so you may want to arrive a bit early to make sure you get in. Being a student of the Training Centre does not get you priority seating for the improv set. Call the box office at 416-343-0011 to make reservations for a Mainstage Show. See Below for Training Centre Student Discounts. Shows sell out quickly so call in advance!

    Bulletin Boards
    There are bulletin boards in the Training Centre corridor. We post important schedule and calendar information, audition notices, performance schedules, and any other cool stuff we feel you should know about. Make it a point to read them. Any student wanting a flyer posted should submit 2 copies to the Training Centre office.

    Wear comfortable clothing - something you can roll around the floor in and not worry about. You should wear non-slip shoes. Be prepared to make yourself feel warmer or cooler, no matter what the weather may be like outside.

    Crime is part of life in the big city; try not to bring anything of value with you. The Second City is not responsible for any lost or stolen articles.

    Getting into a Second City Company
    Many of the current members of the Second City Mainstage and Touring companies are graduates of The Training Centre. Conservatory Graduates are invited to audition at General Auditions every Spring.  However, you are not guaranteed a job with The Second City once you graduate from The Training Centre.

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  • The Second City Student Discounts

    If you are a current student or graduate of The Conservatory Program or The Writing Program then you should have a student card.

    You can take advantage of these awesome deals!!

    THE CHARLOTTE ROOM (19 Charlotte Street)
    Save 10% off all food orders

    BOSTON PIZZA (Front and John location only)
    Save 15% off all food orders (dine-in only)

    SECOND CITY MAINSTAGE* (Sunday thru Thursday)
    Free rush ticket 30 minutes prior to curtain (based on availability) 2 for 1 tickets purchased in advance
    * For Second City Mainstage and Tour Co Performances only

    STUDIO RENTALS - based on availability
    $11/hour rental rate

    Head to and use coupon code secondcity2013 to get your first year at $35 (normally $65) plus a one-time $30 application fee. Oh, and to get you zipping we’ll throw in $50 in driving credit. That’s a total savings of $80! Email with any questions.

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  • Suggested Reading List

    Improv A-E Program

    Improvisation for the Theatre, Viola Spolin
    Impro, Keith Johnstone
    Something Wonderful Right Away, Jeffrey Sweet
    SCTV -- Behind The Scenes, Dave Thomas
    The Second City, Donna McCrohan
    The Compass, Janet Coleman
    Handbook of Games, Neva L. Boyd
    Musical Improv Comedy, Michael Pollock
    The Second City Backstage of The Worlds Greatest Comedy Theater, Sheldon Patinkin

    Stagecraft Program

    Introduction to Stanislavsky, Sonja Moore
    Sanford Meisner On Acting, Sanford Meisner
    Acting, The First Six Lessons, Boleslavsky
    Advice to the Players, Robert Lewis
    Audition, Michael Shurtleff
    The Actor At Work, Robert Benedetti
    Act of Being, Charles Marowitz
    Speaking Clearly, Modisett and Luter
    The History of the Theatre, Oscar G. Brockett

    Conservatory Program

    Almanac of Improvisation, Anne Libera
    Improvise: Scene From The Inside Out, Mick Napier
    Acting, The First Six Lessons, Boleslavsky
    Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Hirsch
    Musical Improv Comedy, Michael Pollock

    Writing Program

    Comedy Is A Serious Business, Harry Ruskin
    The Artful Edit Susan Bell
    The Playwright's Workbook, Jean-Claude van Itallie
    The Comic Toolbox, John Vourhaus
    Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Hirsch
    An Incomplete Education, Jones and Wilson
    Days and Nights of Second City, Bernie Sahlins

    Longform Program

    Truth in Comedy, C. Halpern, Del Close & K. Johnson
    Longform Improv Ben Hauck
    Long-Form Improvisation & The Art Of Zen by Jason Chin
    Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Hirsch
    Long Form Improvisation and American Comedy: The Harold Matt Fotis

    General Reference

    An Incomplete Education, Jones and Wilson
    Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Hirsch

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  • Helpful Links

    Toronto Association of Acting Studios:

    Canadian Actor Online:


    AACTION Bulletin Board:



    Theatre Ontario:

    Sears & Switzer:

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