Self-Paced Online Learning

Sometimes it’s nice to take your time when learning new info, and we get that. Our self-paced online programming allows you to take the time you need with the material.


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”…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

Making Your Book a Reality (Online)

Have a killer idea for a book or three chapters that have been laying around since 2015? This class is for you. We take your book and bring it to the next level, no matter where it is at. Learn more about the book writing process and how to…

More Details

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…

More Details

Satirical Sketch Comedy Writing Level 1 (Online)

Learn to turn your opinions into hilarious satirical sketches. In part one of this two-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…

More Details

Satirical Sketch Comedy Writing Level 2 (Online)

Political satire is the name of the game in part two of this two-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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

Writing a Screenplay Level 2 (Online)

Go from fleshed out idea to finished screenplay by getting immediate and expert critique on your writing, ultimately preparing you to not just finish the script, but market it.

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

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

Writing the Sitcom Spec Script (Online)

Students of this class do not need to log in at a certain time or day for streaming sessions, as content, exercises and assignments are on-demand.

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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,…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details

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,…

More Details

Comedic Songwriting Level 2 (Online)

Take your comedy songs to the next level as you delve deeper into the craft of songwriting. Learn to make your jokes funnier, embrace song and style parody, and be a better collaborator. And dip your toes into writing for musical theater! Perfect for anyone who writes music and lyrics,…

More Details

Writing Sadness Through Humor (Online)

Cry ‘Til You Laugh! In this four-week course, you will learn to write about sad experiences either in your own personal life or through fiction. This class will also teach you how to add humor to your writing in order to provide some comic relief. Writing about emotional experiences can…

More Details

Writing the Comedic Musical (Online)

Do you love Book of Mormon and Urinetown? Want to try your hand at writing the next Avenue Q or Drowsy Chaperone? Jump into the deep end with this crash course in writing the comedy musical. Learn about the nuts and bolts of character and musical theater story structure, and…

More Details

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…

More Details

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…

More Details


Voiceover 101 (Online)

Join Kathleen Puls Andrade for an intensive look at the Voiceover industry and learn the skills needed to make it in this competitive field. You’ll be getting behind the mic (or phone, or laptop) to read scripts and get coaching either live with the class or one on one over…

More Details

Acting 101 – Fundamentals Through Genre (Online)

This class teaches a solid, fundamental approach to acting that can be applied to any style or genre of material. After establishing a core process, put it immediately into practice by tackling different styles of scripts each week. Students learn and discuss key elements in scripts, as well as submit…

More Details

Advanced Voiceover (Online)

Advanced Voiceover is an intensive class for is for those who want to seriously pursue a career in voiceover work.
You will learn to manage multi-person reads, difficult copy, and explore narration copy. Find out crucial aspects about the business end of voiceovers and what to expect (and what is expected…

More Details