Stand-Up, Storytelling & Public Speaking

Discover your unique comic voice in Second City’s Stand-Up and Storytelling courses. Stand-Up uses an improvisational approach to the creation and delivery of solo comic material. Craft your set, learn joke construction and discover how to navigate your first open mic. Storytelling courses help you bring structure and craft to your autobiographical stories, and are intended to be taken with multiple instructors in any order. Many Stand-Up and Storytelling courses end with a casual showcase of student work.

Please note that some of these classes will be delivered online.


Stand Up 1

In Stand Up 1 you will 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. Students will have regular writing assignments during the…

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Stand Up 2

Build on the skills developed in Stand Up 1, honing your comedic voice through a variety of exercises and personal feedback. Class culminates in a final performance…

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Stand-Up Lab

Open mics are great but sometimes you need a little more when working on your material. Let Second City help you with that process in our Stand Up Comedy Lab. Sign up and a Second City instructor will help with feedback as well as lead other comics pitches. Drop in,…

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Storytelling Level 101

Story is everything. Whether it’s inspiration for your next script to understanding yourself a bit better, learning what makes for a great story (and how to make it uniquely yours) is ultimately what allows us to connect, engage and understand what the heck this human experience actually is. This class…

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Storytelling Level 201

We all have a story to tell, now let’s take it to the next level! A more in-depth storytelling class for the people who took 101 or for those who feel seasoned enough to dive deeper into what makes a good compelling story really come alive in us. We will…

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Storytelling Salon

The Second City Story Salon, lead by comedy veteran Frances Callier, is an ongoing collective of writer/performers who are developing the personal art of storytelling in a creative and supportive environment. Each week features in class writing sessions designed to help you dig deeper into your writing, explore tools and…

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Public Speaking

Public Speaking

Do you want to become a better public speaker? Do you feel nervous, unsure or even dread when you give presentations and speeches? This class will give you the tools and skills necessary to deliver effective and engaging speeches. You will learn and practice public speaking theory in a way…

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What's Your Story

Writing The Humorous Personal Essay

Do you have funny personal stories to share? In this four-week class, you will learn to write about humorous experiences in your own life. We will discuss how to make your stories interesting and relatable to other people. This class is offered online and in-person (Chicago).

We will brainstorm ideas and develop…

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What's Your Story (Online)

What’s Your Story takes you through the steps of the storytelling process. You will learn how to identify and talk about meaningful narrative events in your life in a way that is compelling and entertaining to an audience. Story structure, finding your story, developing characters, voice, physical theatre, and stage…

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Stand Up Online

Stand-Up 1: Joke Writing (On-demand)

Develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping your own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics evolved, students experiment outside their comfort zone and experiment in a variety of styles until discovering their own unique style. Students will be encouraged to perform in local open mics…

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Storytelling: Tell Better Stories (On-demand)

A online, go at your own pace Personal Storytelling course

Understanding the basics of a good, compelling story is essential to life, essential to connection, essential to whether you want to write a memoir, give a Ted Talk or share a story piece for The Moth. Understand your story and you’ll…

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Hosting 101 (Online)

A class to get more improvisers comfortable hosting improv shows – setting up improv games, keeping the show moving forward and keeping the energy up. Hosting: the ultimate way to make your partners look good!

Prerequisite: Improv 3/C or equivalent education

Course not offered and you want to take it? Add your name…

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