Writing 1 (Online)

Level: 1

The Second City has been creating comedy through improvisation for 60+ years. Actors improvise ideas during rehearsals until they find a funny scene. This unique process has produced some of the greatest comedy writers of our time. Whether writing a sketch, screenplay, or performing improv, everything starts… with an idea.

In this 7-week course, you will learn the fundamentals of developing an idea into a premise, a premise into a pitch, and a pitch into a sketch. Below is a detailed outline of the main homework assignment and the theme for each week’s class.


Week 1: Ideas – 1 Minute Story

Week 2: Comedic Premises – 1 Minute Rant

Week 3: Pitches – Scene Pitches

Week 4: Dialogue – 1 Page of Dialogue – Opinion

Week 5: Behavior – 1 Page of Dialogue – Behavior

Week 6: Transformation – 2 Page Sketch – Transformation

Week 7: Location – 2 Page Sketch – Location

This class utilizes two platforms to engage with students: Canvas and Zoom. Each week’s lessons and homework assignments will be available on Canvas, while live classes with fellow students and the Second City instructor will be hosted on Zoom.

Each lesson on Canvas will unlock one week before the corresponding in-person Zoom class, including the first week. Additionally, homework assignments should be posted to Canvas 24 hours before each Zoom class.

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Select a Session to Enroll (2)


06/24/24 - 08/05/24

06:00 PM, 2 hours

Enroll Now


06/26/24 - 08/07/24

07:00 PM, 2 hours

Key Concepts:

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Sketch Writing:

Learn the core principles of sketch writing and how to structure a Second City inspired revue.

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Create from Abundance:

Learn the skill of generating from abundance to create fresh, compelling, and timely material.

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Comedic Structure:

Delve into comedic styles and sketch structures, while learning to incorporate them into your own writing

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Learn and implement proper formatting for sketches, dialogue, joke structure, and other script conventions.

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