Second City Directing Program

The Second City Directing Program is an intensive professional training program focused on the skills necessary to direct improvisation & sketch comedy and to devise original work in the Second City method.

Program Schedule

The Second City Directing Program is 6 months long (starting June 20th, 2022) and meets for two 3-hour classes per week for the duration. Classes are tentatively scheduled for:

· Saturdays 12pm-3pm (a mix of virtual and in-person sessions)

· Mondays 5pm-8pm (in-person)

These classes will contain elements of direct instruction/lecture, active conversation with your classmates and participatory exercises.


Each student will prepare and present the following over the course of the program:

· a 20-minute improv show - may contain elements of short-form and/or long-form, but it must be an entertaining, cohesive theatrical experience.

· a 25-30 minute “Best Of” show - a show (with an assigned cast) comprised Second City Archive content (scenes previously developed on Second City Resident Stages)

· a 1-Act (45-55 minute) Original Sketch Revue - students will select and recruit their own casts and generate their own original sketch revue. This revue may be presented after the 6 months of classes is complete.

Additional Requirements & Expectations

· Watch shows at The Second City as assigned

· Complete writing and research assignments for class

· Prepare Creative Ideation Exercises and other activities to run “mock rehearsals” in class using fellow directing program participants as your “ensemble”

· Shadowing/Assistant Directing a Touring Company [OPTIONAL but ENCOURAGED] - Each directing student will be assigned a Touring Company to shadow. You will be invited to attend any and all rehearsals and performances for that Touring Company under the mentorship of that company’s director.

Potential Additional Opportunities

Participants in The Second City Directing Program may also be invited to do one or more of the following:

· Resident Stage or Theatricals Assistant Directing - active Directing Students and recent program grads may be invited to apply for a paid position as Assistant Director of a Second City resident stage or Theatrical Production.


The deadline to apply for the Second City Chicago 2022 Directing Program is May 13th, 2022.

We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQIA+ applicants, women, and/or applicants with disabilities to apply. Please click HERE to access the application.


The cost for instruction in this program is: $3450 USD. Payment plans and tuition assistance are available.

Tuition Assistance

The Second City places a high value on director development and understands that paying for continuing education can pose a difficulty for working artists. To that end, scholarships are available for The Second City Directing Program. Please note there is a limit to how many scholarships can be awarded per cohort.

Applicants must be 19 or older and demonstrate financial need. Scholarships will be reviewed by the Training Center Artistic & Administrative team and awarded based on:

· Financial need (No need-based documentation required, however we are very dedicated to helping those individuals who have a special circumstance and may not otherwise be able to participate)

· Expressed desire to join The Second City! (Please be honest in your response. Let us know why this scholarship would be important for you.)

Second City Directing Program