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Thank you for choosing to study with The Second City Training Center in Chicago. We hope your experience with us will be informative and fun.
Register Online – You can see all scheduled class times and if space is available through our website. Check out our full variety of classes for Adults and Kids & Teens. Once enrolled you will receive confirmation via e-mail.
Our phone number is 312-664-3959.
Payment must be made at the time of enrollment in order to secure your spot in class. Payment plans are available. Scholarships, volunteer credits, internship, or workstudy credits cannot be used retroactively. If you have a balance on your account, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for payment options.
Training Center Programs
Term 1 2024
Term 2 2024
Term 3 2024
Term 4 2024
Term 5 2024
Term 6 2024
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Indigenous Peoples Day
New Year's Eve
Being a Student
Utopian Tailgate - 35% off your check - only eligible per student - not per table - Please be prepared to show your class receipt and a picture ID as proof of enrollment.
Roots Pizza - 35% off your check - only eligible per student - not per table - Please be prepared to show your class receipt and a picture ID as proof of enrollment.
- Jeni's Ice Cream - 25% off all ice cream - eligible at the Old Town location. Must show Student ID as proof of enrollment.
Second City Professional Stages - 15% off one ticket per show Sundays through Thursdays only (excludes Monday Best Of The Second City).
Second City Merchandise - 15% off clothing, hats, books, etc.
Raffles and Giveaways - These are emailed to current students and posted on our social media.
Grad Revue Shows - Student Rush Tickets - Current students can redeem one free ticket if they arrive, in person, at the box office within two hours before the start of the show. These tickets can only be redeemed for Grad Revue shows. These tickets cannot be reserved for guests.
Free Tickets - Current students are automatically added to an email list that will occasionally offer free tickets to resident shows.
Let's channel our inner Maria Von Trapp and start at the very beginning. For improv training most of our students begin with the Improv 1 class. You do not need to have any previous acting or improv experience to begin the Improv program. If you have completed a full, year-long improv training program (equivalent to our Improv program or another approved comedy school) and you have completed at least one acting course (post-high school), then you qualify to audition for our Conservatory program. You can also begin in the first level of our Comedy Writing or Acting programs, depending on your interests. If you need any help deciding which classes to take, just give us a call at (312) 664-3959. We will always be happy to chat with you about your interests and goals and figure out the best place for you to begin.
While both of these core programs use similar improvisational techniques derived from the teachings of Viola Spolin, the focus for the performer is different. In the Improv program, we teach you how to work, play & perform without a script. In the Acting program, we show you how to use those improv skills to be a better, more present actor. Later levels of the Acting program also incorporate scripts and memorized text including scenes from the Second City Archives.
Only some advanced programs like the Sketch Conservatory require auditions, though some specialized classes and workshops may have prerequisites.
Because the Training Center itself is not an accredited institution of higher learning, just an awesome professional training center, students are generally ineligible for college credit. We also cannot file the paperwork for international students to obtain student visas. However, if you are currently enrolled in college, we have this amazing program called Comedy Studies which is an accredited college program that we run in Chicago in partnership with Columbia College. This is a semester-long study in comedy for which students do receive college credit.
We offer classes in our Kids and Teens Program for students ages 4-18. Students must be at least 19 to attend classes in our adult programs or at least a high school graduate, but there is no upper age limit. Even Colin Mochrie could come take a class (although we know he doesn't need it)!
Tuition fees should be paid at the time of registration in order to hold your spot in the class. Tuition fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. If you pay in cash, please bring the exact amount as we may not have change. Payment plans are available at the time of registration, but surcharges will be applied.
Tuition fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable. If you have a conflict with your schedule, please contact our Customer Service team as soon as possible to see if any arrangements can be made. Transfers may be subject to a $25 transfer fee.
We have lots of classes, and sometimes we have multiple sections of the same class running at the same time. In those cases we add various words to the class names so you know which class you belong to. If you are continuing to the next level of a program on the same day and time, please enroll in the same word group.
If you have to miss a class, please reach out to our Customer Service team for options. We do not offer scheduled makeup classes but will assist you as best we can. Make sure to contact your instructor for any material you may have missed. Try to get to every class, so that you don’t miss class content, and can advance to the next level of your program!
Sometimes a student may wish or need to take time off from The Training Center due to personal reasons. Should this occur, please contact The Training Center staff immediately. Please be informed that when you return, the Training Center will place you at its discretion. Students who leave during the Conservatory Program may be asked to re-audition. Returning students must pay the tuition rate that is applicable to the time of rejoining The Training Center. Any student returning after more than one (1) year of absence is required to rejoin the program at a level determined by The Training Center.
Although many of the resident company actors are graduates of the Training Center, completion of any program does not guarantee employment with the company. It takes a great deal of training and experience to become a member of the Mainstage or e.t.c. cast. Most of the resident actors have trained and performed for a number of years before being hired by Second City.
The most direct answer is the Conservatory, our cornerstone training program designed to give you first-hand experience in the Second City method. It caters to the aspiring professional, and it qualifies you to audition for our house teams and other advanced programs. Admission is by audition only and requires some previous experience, so you may need to start with training in our Improvisation program. However, great Second City actors also have to be able to perform scripted material and create believable characters on stage (try our Acting program), and on the resident stages they write their own material (try our Comedy Writing program). And they all have to be comfortable with music and singing (we have a variety of music classes!). These programs can be great preparation for the Conservatory, but students also frequently enroll in them after graduation from the Conservatory to round out their skills and deepen the understanding of their craft. The bottom line is all of the programs here will give you practical experience that will make you a creative powerhouse.