Improv Program

The Improv Program is a complete foundation in the principles of scenic improvisation as practiced at The Second City. Based in the work of Viola Spolin, this program covers all elements of the improvisational process. Students begin with ensemble, environment, and object work and end by rehearsing and performing their own fully improvised show.

The Improv Program

Improv Level A

In Improv Level A, you’ll start to learn the skills needed to create strong improvised scenes. Some of these skills include building ensemble, giving and taking focus, object work, and, one of the most crucial fundamentals of improv, the concept of “yes, and.”

All classes meet once per week for 8…

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Improv Level B

Improv Level B introduces students to the skills needed for character work, an element essential to dynamic improvised scenes.

Students learn how to improvise characters. They explore creating characters through internal motivations, like point of view, status, wants and intentions, and external ones, like experimenting with physicality. They learn how to…

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Improv Level C

Improv Level C introduces you to the skills needed for scene work, including emotion, listening, and transformation, as well as continues to hone skills learned in Levels A & B like ensemble, object work, and “yes, and.”You’ll also begin improvising scenes, exploring exercises that isolate the different skills needed for…

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Improv Level D

In Improv Level D, you’ll explore advanced-level scene work and focus on synthesizing all the elements that go into strong, well-rounded, dynamic scenes: like character, emotion, ensemble, environment, relationship, status, transformation, and more. You’ll also continue to learn how to improvise group scenes, and receive an introduction to scene styles…

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Improv Level E

Level E is all about performance. You’ll take everything you have learned in Levels A-D and use those skills to put together a fully improvised, 45-minute show for friends and family. You learn multiple aspects of improv performance, including communicating with an audience, engaging in a rehearsal process, and introducing,…

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Improv Level F(orever)

Finished the Improv A-E program and want to keep improvising in a structured but casual environment? Want to keep your improv skills from getting rusty? How about practicing with a fun group of like-minded students? Improv F(orever) is for Improv Program graduates who want to keep working on exercises and…

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Improv for Veterans: Level Alpha

Improv for Veterans is a multi-level curriculum specifically catered to anyone who has served in the armed forces. This class aims to teach improv, while also connecting with other veterans, building communication skills, sharing experiences with veterans from other branches, and playing around. Improv for Veterans is taught by a…

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Improv for Actors

Improv for Actors (2020)

The Improv for Actors program teaches trained actors the fundamentals of improv. Skills acquired in this program can be applied to scripted and non-scripted work. Become more improvisational in written moments and more confident when asked to improvise.

Improv for Actors 1

Cover the fundamental elements of scenic improv, from creating environment and…

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Improv for Actors Express

Express and Fast Track classes are designed for students who can’t do an 8-week class, or just want to move through beginning programs faster. These courses have the same number of class hours and the same pricing as the standard 8-week versions of the same class. Express classes meet twice weekly for four…

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5-Day Intensive: Improv for Actors 1

The Improv for Actors 1 Intensive is a fast-paced course for actors interested in how to develop the essential tool of improv for rehearsal, performance, and auditions . Improv for Actors is geared toward both working and post-grad actors who are looking to expand their craft with skills of improvisation….

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5-Day Intensive: Improv for Actors 2

Like the first level, Improv for Actors 2 helps trained and post-grad actors who are interested in further exploring improvisation and learn how to be a better actor. However, IFA-2 also empowers these actors with the tools for advancement in the improv community. Completion of Improv for Actors 2 fulfills…

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Advanced Improv

Scenic Improv 1

Improvised scene work is one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences in the entertainment world. A great improv scene is more than two people standing on stage talking; it engages the audience and takes them somewhere. Strong scene work is essential for advancing your improv career. Scenic Improv 1…

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Dramatic Improv 1

That’s Not Funny: Dramatic Improv 1 is for anyone looking to take comedic scene work seriously by creating honest moments that lead to big laughs. By laying this authentic groundwork in improvisation, deeper meaning and bona fide acting will become a reliable way to approach improvisation. When improvising scenes for…

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Diagnostics

Stuck in a rut? Bombed your audition? Sometimes to move forward, you need a little tough love. In this class you will be individually evaluated to identify unique improv issues and work towards fixing them. Learn from your mistakes and unlock your potential.

Diagnostics is taught by Craig Uhlir. It…

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Express and Fast Track Classes

Improv Express

Express and Fast Track classes are designed for students who can’t do an 8-week class, or just want to move through beginning programs faster. These courses have the same number of class hours and the same pricing as the standard 8-week versions of the same class. Express classes meet twice weekly for four…

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Improv for Actors Express

Express and Fast Track classes are designed for students who can’t do an 8-week class, or just want to move through beginning programs faster. These courses have the same number of class hours and the same pricing as the standard 8-week versions of the same class. Express classes meet twice weekly for four…

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Improv for Anxiety

Improv for Anxiety Level A

Improv for Anxiety is an innovative program that includes an ensemble-based improv class and a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) based therapy group. The program is designed to help people with mild to moderate social anxiety and/or fear of public speaking manage their symptoms and reduce avoidance behaviors…

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Improv for Anxiety Level B

Improv Level B introduces students to the skills needed for character work, an element essential to dynamic improvised scenes.

Students learn how to improvise characters. They explore creating characters through internal motivations, like point of view, status, wants and intentions, and external ones, like experimenting with physicality. They learn how to…

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Improv for Anxiety Level C

Improv Level C introduces students to the skills needed for scene work, the backbone of what we do at The Second City. Strong, relationship-based scene work is the backbone of the work we do at The Second City. Students learn the skills crucial to scene work, including emotion, listening, and…

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Improv for Anxiety Level D

Improv for Anxiety Level D reinforces the skills needed for strong scene work.

Students explore advanced-level scene work. They focus on synthesizing all the elements that go into strong, well-rounded, dynamic scenes: character, emotion, ensemble, environment, relationship, status, transformation, and more. Students also continue to learn how to improvise group scenes,…

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Improv for Anxiety Level E

Improv for Anxiety Level E is the culmination of all skills learned in Levels A-D. The skills learned in this class help students succeed in future improv classes and performance, should they choose to pursue them.

Level E is all about performance. Students take everything they have learned in Levels A-D…

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Wellness

ASL (American Sign Language) Bilingual Workshop

This workshop will be an introduction to the basics of improv for American Sign Language users who are interested in learning how to play improv games, and also an introduction to improv games that work very well for an audience used to visual language or performance for improv players who…

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Bilingual (English/Spanish) Improvisation Workshop

Comapadre! Have you ever wanted to improvise at Second City, but feared your English wasn’t so good? No need to fear! We are offering a BI-LINGUAL improv workshop taught by Bob Curry Fellow Vanessa Garcia. This is an improv workshop geared towards Spanish speakers in the Latinx community. Bring your…

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Improv for Autism

Improv for Autism offers a class in improv for teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Classes will focus on ensemble and team building to help with the exploration of different relationships and social cues. Improvisational games used in this class will teach the students skills such as accessing emotions…

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Humor Doesn't Retire

Our Humor Doesn’t Retire program is for people 55 and older who are interested in meeting new people and learning the art of improvisation. Have you always loved comedy? Do people tell you you’re funny? Do you just want to do something active and have fun with other people? Then…

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Humor Doesn't Retire Drop-in

Our Humor Doesn’t Retire program is for people 55 and older who are interested in meeting new people and learning the art of improvisation. This is a great opportunity for those who want to learn and improvise with people who share similar life experiences and reference levels. These classes are…

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Mid-Life Crisis: Improv for Generations X & Y

Mid-Life Crisis Improv is for anyone ages 35-55 who wants to learn how to improvise, including people who want to do improv for fun, to better their professional skills, or to eventually pursue it professionally.

The Improv Program is a complete foundation in the principles of scenic improvisation as practiced at…

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Improv for Veterans: Level Alpha

Improv for Veterans is a multi-level curriculum specifically catered to anyone who has served in the armed forces. This class aims to teach improv, while also connecting with other veterans, building communication skills, sharing experiences with veterans from other branches, and playing around. Improv for Veterans is taught by a…

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Improv Program Intensives

5-Day Intensive: Improv 1

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 

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5-Day Intensive: Improv 2

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 Intensives should be taken in consecutive order. Students with some previous experience may be able to…

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5-Day Intensive: Improv 3

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….

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5-Day Intensive: Improv 4

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….

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5-Day Intensive: Improv for Actors 1

The Improv for Actors 1 Intensive is a fast-paced course for actors interested in how to develop the essential tool of improv for rehearsal, performance, and auditions . Improv for Actors is geared toward both working and post-grad actors who are looking to expand their craft with skills of improvisation….

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5-Day Intensive: Improv for Actors 2

Like the first level, Improv for Actors 2 helps trained and post-grad actors who are interested in further exploring improvisation and learn how to be a better actor. However, IFA-2 also empowers these actors with the tools for advancement in the improv community. Completion of Improv for Actors 2 fulfills…

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3-Day Intensive: Improv & Writing

Explore the principles and processes of improv in the morning leading into an introduction to sketch comedy in the afternoon….

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3-Day Intensive: Improv

Get an introduction to the fundamentals of improvisation. You will learn how to create environments on stage and how to develop characters and interact with your scene partner. You will learn the tenets of “Yes, and” as well as some well established improv games used by performers in the Chicago…

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Drop-in Class

Improv Test Drive

Are you interested in taking an improv class, but you’re not quite sure if it’s right for you? Give it a test drive! Our weekly drop-in improv class for beginners is open to everyone, whether you have ever improvised or not. It’s a great opportunity to practice, have some fun,…

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Stand Up Sampler

Learn core stand-up concepts with The Second City Training Center and write some first drafts of your own material before checking out the popular Second City Training Center Open Mic and cheering on stand-ups or trying out your own material.
$20 – Saturdays at 7pm

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A Taste of The Second City Training Center

Join The Second City Training Center for an introduction to improv and a comedy show to follow while making new friends and experiencing one of Chicago’s most historic venues. You’ll have the option to jump on stage for games or learn by watching in this Lecture/Demonstration-style workshop. Then we’ll have…

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Humor Doesn't Retire Drop-in

Our Humor Doesn’t Retire program is for people 55 and older who are interested in meeting new people and learning the art of improvisation. This is a great opportunity for those who want to learn and improvise with people who share similar life experiences and reference levels. These classes are…

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Private Lessons

Private Lessons

One-On-One Coaching

The Second City Training Center offers individual, customized coaching in a variety of areas including, but not limited to:

Acting
Monologue prep
On-camera audition prep
Dialects Accent Coaching

Youth & Teen Coaching
Audition Prep
Monologue Prep

Writing
Advanced sketch critique
Screenplay & Sitcom coaching
Sketch Production (Coaching a group through their first production)
Sketch generation & critique…

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Team Coaching

The Second City Training Center now offers team improv and sketch coaching. This service is available at or in the vicinity of any of our three Training Centers (Chicago, Hollywood, Toronto) and also available via Skype. Our team coaches are all skilled instructors and directors that have worked with Second…

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