Our 5-Day Adult Intensives are a crash course in the philosophies and methods that Second City uses to find, explore, and create material. These programs are a great way to study our creative process, and to get you excited about how you can reach your potential. Our Immersions attract students from all over the country and abroad. Come learn new skills, meet new friends and take advantage of Chicago’s rich comedy scene!
Four levels of improv and writing classes are offered in our 5-Day Adult Intensives. Stay for four weeks to complete all levels, or come back for unfinished levels if you completed a previous week-long Intensive. Classes are Monday through Friday each week, and tuition includes a ticket to a Second City or UP Comedy Club show. Improv 1 and Writing 1 classes have no prerequisites; students of any and all experience levels are welcome to enroll. Students with some previous experience may be able to skip the first levels; please submit details of your training or experience to Intensive Coordinator Rosie Chevalier at email@example.com for approval.
Our Summer Intensives coincide with the Kids & Teen Summer Comedy Camps for parents and kids who want to take class at the same time. Students who complete a two- to four-week intensive and would like to continue their training at one of our centers in Chicago, Toronto, or Hollywood may place into Level B of the Improv Program or Level 2 of the Writing Program. Level 2 students with additional experience may qualify for Improv for Actors 2 or Scenic Improv 1.
These Intensives give you a great overview of our method of improvisation and how we use it to create something from nothing. Dive into the principles, techniques, and exercises that our actors use to generate characters and scenes.
Morning sessions: Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm
Afternoon sessions: Monday-Friday, 1pm-4pm
Improv 1: Fundamentals
A detailed look at the principles and processes of improv for beginners, including ensemble work, play, and beginning scenework. Improv Intensives should be taken in consecutive order. Students with some previous experience may be able to skip this course; please submit details of your training or experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Improv 2: Character & Scenework
Learn many techniques for developing strong characters, including status, point of view, and subtext. Also explore the elements of good scenework, such as beats, environment, and emotional life. Builds on concepts from Level 1.
Improv 3: Advanced Scenework
Building upon the foundation of Level 2, students will deal with a more mature type of improv that can be harvested for sketch. Focus on topics such as advanced character creation, scene/premise structure, acting, reference level, and using music to find scenes and characters.
Improv 4: Improv into Sketch
Dive into how Second City uses improv to develop sketch material. Explore concepts like satire, using improv sets, re-improvising scenes, and the key elements of a Second City running order.
Develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping your own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics evolved, you will experiment outside your comfort zone and experiment until discovering your own unique style. Stand-Up Intensives should be taken in consecutive order. Students with some previous experience may be able to skip this course; please submit details of your training or experience to email@example.com. Students who have completed the 8-week Stand-Up 1 class may enroll in the Stand-Up 2 Intensive.
Build on the skills developed in Stand-Up 1 and level up your game while honing a unique style. Through a variety of exercises, experimentation, and personal feedback, you’ll further develop your comedic voice as a writer and performer while learning more about the stand-up scene in Chicago and beyond.
Writing 1: Fundamentals & Components of Sketch Comedy
An introduction to sketch comedy techniques including characterization, comic premise and story structure. Writing Intensives should be taken in consecutive order. Students with some previous experience may be able to skip this course; please submit details of your training or experience to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing 2: Working with Premises for Sketch Comedy
A further exploration of using comic premises to develop original sketch comedy for students who have completed Writing Intensive 1.
Writing 3: Elements of a Comedy Revue
Expand your comedy writer’s toolkit. From full-cast scenes to monologues, discover the types of sketches that round-out a Second City revue.
Writing 4: Advanced Topics in Sketch
Refine your comic voice and strengthen your skill in revision while learning premises that break the rules – clothesline scenes, songs and more.
SCHOLARSHIPS Scholarships are available for Summer Intensives sessions. Applications for the 2019 Intensives are accepted through this online form and are due by April 1, 2019. All applicants will be notified of a decision by May 15—no phone calls or emails please.
WHERE TO STAY IN CHICAGO? The Second City Training Center does not provide housing for students. Students are responsible for arranging their own accommodations. See our “Where To Stay” page for recommended hotels, hostels, and dormitories in the Chicago area, some with special rates for Second City students!
SPECIALTY INTENSIVES A variety of Specialty Intensives are also available! Specialty Intensives are week-long studies on a particular topic, often with special guest instructors. Courses are available in Improv, Writing, Acting, Music, and more!
Still short on time? Take a look at our 3-day Improv & Writing Intensives. They’re available all year round!