Online Classes

Can’t make it to one of our 3 Training Center locations? Try an Online Class! Drawing upon the groundbreaking work of The Second City and the many legendary performers who have played on its stages, we have become the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world. Our online classes are all of the fun…while wearing none of the pants. (We don’t judge.)

We offer multiple Online Program Certifications for qualifying students. After successfully completing a collection of courses, students receive a program certificate electronically. Visit our Online Certificate Program page for more information.

Private lessons are available for individuals or improv teams.

Got questions? Check out our online classes FAQs.

Sketch & Comedy Writing

Sketch Writing Level 1 (Online)

Students living away from one of the Second City Training Centers can still study comedy sketch writing! In Sketch Writing 1 students receive individual instruction through online correspondence, exploring the fundamentals of character development and theatrical scene structure. Exercises include a variety of comedic genres, from “Simple Yet Impossible Goal”…

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Sketch Writing Level 2 (Online)

Building on Online Sketch Writing 1, students will continue to learn the universal comedy techniques used in mainstream media as well as focusing on satire, character development and rewriting.

Major Concepts: Short history of sketch comedy, relationship, game and blackout sketches.

Class Work Examples: 2-Person relationship sketches aren’t…

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Sketch Writing Level 3 (Online)

In Online Sketch Writing 3 you will continue building the blocks of a sketch revue! Explore sketch structures that “break the rules”, including blackouts and clothesline scenes. Expand your ability to collaborate with other writers as you learn the structure of a Second City sketch revue.

Major Concepts: Specialty…

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Sketch Writing Level 4 (Online)

The culmination of the Online Writing Program allows you to strengthen your own voice as a writer as you explore concepts of satire founded in historical and personal events. Gain new tools for rewriting your sketches to strengthen the point of view. This term includes special workshops in songwriting and…

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Character Cocktail Party Level 1 (Online)

Character Cocktail Party is a character-focused sketch writing course where you’ll explore one specific character in many different situations/sketch types. This is a chance to start thinking about how a character can have a personality independent of one specific sketch idea. We’ll work on creating these sustainable characters and practice allowing…

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Character Cocktail Party Level 2 (Online)

Character Cocktail Party is a character-focused advanced sketch writing course where you’ll explore one specific character in many different situations/sketch types. Level 2 incorporates ensemble collaboration and the use of characters created by classmates. You’ll learn to pitch and write your characters into shared worlds, much like what is expected…

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Comedy Writing Bootcamp: Fish Out of Water (Online)

You’ve learned how to write a Fish Out of Water sketch. You’ve learned the concepts of ‘Insane in a Sane World’ and ‘Sane in a an Insane World.’ Have you had the opportunity to write BOTH types? AND get feedback? AND REWRITE them? This course is an intensive in all…

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Parody Palooza! (Online)

Some may judge you for your Netflix binge watching, but we say you are (Amazon) primed and raring to get down to some major parody writing! Instructor Rebekah Walendzak Slepski will teach you tools for writing parodies of your favorites! Not to be confused with our satire offerings, these kinds of…

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Satirical Sketch Comedy Writing Level 1 (Online)

Learn to turn your opinions into hilarious satirical sketches. In part one of this three-part advanced course, you’ll have a safe space to express your opinions, learn how to give them a comic twist and tools that will bring them to life on the page.

Satirical Sketch Comedy Writing is open…

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Satirical Sketch Comedy Writing Level 2 (Online)

Political satire is the name of the game in part two of this three-part course. Using parody and clash of context, students will put government, politics, and politicians’ feet to the fire.

This workshop is not offered every term. If you would like to be informed when it becomes available, please…

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Writing Strong Women (Online)

In Writing Strong Women you will create memorable female characters that DRIVE your piece. Writers (women AND men) will create sketches, monologues, stories and character pieces through writing exercises, analysis of text and a variety of writing assignments.

This workshop is not offered every term. If you would like to be…

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Stand-Up & Storytelling

Stand-Up 1: Joke Writing (Online)

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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True Story for the Stage (Online)

Have you been bitten by the storytelling bug? Live, true-storytelling is both a trendy new performance form popularized by public radio shows and creative community events, and one of the oldest forms of performance there is. Storytelling has been used to teach, inspire, entertain and galvanize since before the written…

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Writing for Film

Writing for TV & Film (Online)

In Online Writing for TV & Film students familiar with the Second City model of comedy writing will explore visual writing, story structure and character in preparation for creating longer works for TV and film. The class will read existing scripts, view film and television selections, and write and workshop…

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Writing a Screenplay (Online)

A sellable screenplay = quit your day job. This class will help you create characters, understand structure & learn to pitch. You’ll end this course with an outline of your [awesome] screenplay idea as well as the start of your script.

This workshop is not offered every term. If you would…

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Writing for TV

Writing for TV & Film (Online)

In Online Writing for TV & Film students familiar with the Second City model of comedy writing will explore visual writing, story structure and character in preparation for creating longer works for TV and film. The class will read existing scripts, view film and television selections, and write and workshop…

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Creating and Pitching Your TV Series (Online)

You’ve been talking about your sitcom idea forever already. Make it happen! Learn what the market is looking for (seriously, what are they looking for?), how to present your idea, and make them laugh in the room. You’ll end this course with an original pitch packet – from log lines…

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Writing the Hour-Long Pilot (Online)

Ever wondered how to write a pilot? In Writing the Hour-Long Pilot you will develop your own pilot for an original hour-long dramatic television series. Study the structure, character development, formatting, and themes of current successful hour-long shows. Leave the class with Act One and a Show Bible for your own…

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Writing for Late Night TV and Talk Shows Level 1 (Online)

Write monologue jokes, desk bits, remote segments, sketch and more for shows like Fallon, Conan, Kimmel, Seth Myers, Colbert, Corden, Oliver, and Ellen. Pitch monologue jokes, brainstorm, explore and heighten material in this collaborative Writer’s Room environment. Create original material to strengthen your writing samples, and produce the elements to…

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Writing for Late Night TV and Talk Shows Level 2 (Online)

Building on Online Writing for Late Night TV and Talk Shows 1, this class will consist of joke maximizers for monologue jokes, finding the angle for your joke, monologue jokes with visual punch lines, bits or mini sketches within a monologue, rants on a topic like John Oliver/Seth Meyers, coming…

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Writing the Sitcom Spec Script (Online)

According to agents and managers, in order to break into Hollywood, it’s useful to have a spec script, an original pilot, a screenplay (if you’re interested in writing movies), and a short film (maybe a smart-phone movie). In Writing the Sitcom Spec Script you will write a solid spec script,…

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Writing for Radio and Podcasts

Writing for Radio and Podcasts (Online)

In this online course, students will write, produce, and record original content meant to be listened to in podcast format. Using free audio editing software Audacity, students will learn about and experiment with a variety of different styles of pieces and podcast formats. There are writing assignments as well as…

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Writing for Stage

Playwriting Level 1 (Online)

The Second City’s approach to playwriting is focused on two elements: improvisational writing and storytelling structure. In the first course in this program, students will gain the skills to generate from abundance, create three-dimensional characters and explore their stories. Over the course of this eight-week class, students will develop several…

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Playwriting Level 2 (Online)

You’ve mastered improvisational writing—now you’re ready to get deep, messy and metaphorical. Within the first few weeks of this course you will write several short plays which will be read and critiqued by your fellow playwrights. You will then begin developing a longer piece, culminating in the creation of a…

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Producing Your 1-Person Show (Online)

In this course we will explore best practices for not only writing a 1-person show, but how to get the right butts in the seats. It is important that this show is not only a tool to flex your talent but that the right people are there to see it….

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Your Show Live! (Online)

Online Dating. Sleepaway Camp. Coming out. 90’s TV Shows. Some of the best sketch shows start with a strong central theme. In Your Show Live!, you can celebrate your experiences, obsessions and areas of expertise by learning how to create your own themed sketch show. Students will be given weekly…

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Writing for the Web

Producing Your Web Series (Online)

Gain skills you need to develop your web series from the page to shooting it with Producing Your Web Series. Grads of Writing Your Web Series (or those with instructor approval) will learn how to market your web series, where to place it for maximum impact and study case histories…

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Writing Satire for the Internet Level 1 (Online)

In this four-week online writing satire course, you will learn how to form a strong comedic point of view on topical news and pop culture events. You will brainstorm, draft and rewrite short pieces in the style of McSweeney’s, Shouts and Murmurs and The Second City Network. Internet presence, pitching,…

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Writing Satire for the Internet Level 2 (Online)

This second four-week satire writing intensive builds on the concepts learned in Satire 1 and puts an increased emphasis on writing at a professional level. Students will keep a running pitch document, have access to exclusive interviews with top editors and satire writers working today, and create a website for…

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Writing Satire for the Internet Level 3 (Online)

Portfolio, Pitching and Submitting Bootcamp

In this two-month class, the final in the Online Satire series, students will complete a writing portfolio that showcases their voice and POV, work to create a professional network, and focus on pitching and submitting finished pieces throughout the course. Topics covered…

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Writing Your Web Series (Online)

Writing Your Web Series gives you the tools to help your web series succeed. Lecture and suggested reading will include character development, format, structure, and the business side and current landscape for web writing. You will outline your idea, write episodes and workshop them, hearing them read and getting live…

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Writing with The Onion

Writing with The Onion Level 1 (Online)

The Second City has partnered with The Onion to present this fundamental online course outlining The Onion’s unique system of generating comedy ideas and stories. Learn how to create winning premises, essays and one-liners, but also find your unique comedy voice and learn to trust it to produce reliably successful…

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Writing with The Onion Level 2 (Online)

Writers will learn how to write a successful comedic story, hone their prose to a fine edge, and apply The Onion’s style of comedy creation to cultivate their own voice and style. With multi-media lectures, written assignments and teacher feedback, students work to develop foundational comedy-article writing skills.

This workshop is…

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Music

Intro to Comedic Songwriting (Online)

In Online Intro to Comedic Songwriting you will learn to turn a strong point of view into a great comedic song. Work with classic song structures to strengthen your lyrics, and discover how melody and musical style can influence your songwriting. In this four-week online course, you will receive specific,…

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Professional Development

Improv for Creative Pedagogy (Online)

Improv for Creative Pedagogy introduces teachers to the principles of improvisation and its many uses in the classroom. Through videos and lesson plans teachers will be given resources to take back their classroom for immediate use. Assignments will require teachers to practice thinking like an improviser, create adaptations and uses…

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Teen Online Classes

Teen Acting On Camera Level 1 (Online)

Breaking into the On-Camera World

Learn how to get agents, producers and casting directors blowing up your inbox to audition and then NAILING your takes with The Second City Training Center. Find out what’s important about great headshots, resumes, actor reels and online casting services while delivering commercial copy in mock…

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Odyssey SPARK (Online)

Second City’s Odyssey SPARK, an online four-week crash course to get your creativity flowing, covers sketch writing, partnerships/teamwork, acting and performance quality, and creative risk-taking (including learning from failure) in the style of The Second City. Designed specifically for Odyssey of the Mind participants, coaches, and…

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Teen Sketch Level 1 (Online)

Teen Sketch is a quick and fun entry into the world of sketch comedy writing. This is an exercise-based class WITH NO GRADES (woohoo!) that is all about generating ideas and exploring point of view while learning some terminology along the way. Homework includes watching TV, Youtube clips and posting…

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Teen Sketch Level 2 (Online)

Come on back and get your sketch comedy even sketchier! Teens will build on tools learned in Teen Sketch 1, further developing their comedic point of view along with learning and writing sketch comedy styles like “Fish out of Water” and “Parody.” It’s tons of fun with no grades! What’s…

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Teen Stand-Up (Online)

Learn the art of stand-up comedy with The Second City Training Center featuring hands-on lessons in storytelling, character building, observational humor, one-liners and more. Students receive weekly lectures, multi-media demonstrations and exercises to create enough unique content to have a polished act by the end of the 4-week class.

Teen Stand-Up…

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Private Lessons

Online 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 for a sketch group

Stand-Up
Idea Generation
Performance…

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Online Team Coaching

The Second City Training Center offers team improv and sketch coaching. This service is available via Skype. Our team coaches are all skilled instructors and directors that have worked with Second City resident companies, touring companies, and house ensemble teams.

To arrange for an appointment, fill out this inquiry form….

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