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Writing Program

Learn the basics of sketch comedy scenes, the building block of any Second City show. Study classic Second City scenes, use improv to develop scenes and write original sketches.

Sketch Writing

Sketch Writing (ages 14-18)

  • Intro and Advanced Sketch Writing
  • 2 Hours, 7 Weeks

Intro to Sketch Writing

Intro to Sketch Writing is for teens who want to learn how to write sketch comedy or who want to learn how to translate their improv skills to paper. Writing good comedy scenes is not easy. This class will set students up with the fundamentals they need. This class will also improve their writing skills in general.

Students will learn the basics of writing sketch comedy. They will learn about scene structure, experiment with styles, and learn how to write good dialogue. They will learn how to take an improvised scene and work it into a successful written scene. Collaboration is also an important element that will be taught.

There will be a lot of in-class writing. You will be given scenarios or topics for inspiration and write a sketch to be read in class. There is also improvisation involved. When we improvise we are actually “writing on our feet”. Part of this class is about taking the “Yes, and” attitude and applying it to writing, so we use improv to teach writers to “say yes” to the page. You will also collaborate with other writers to create comedy sketches.

There will be a fair amount of homework assigned in this class. But, please note, this a low-pressure environment and there will be time to catch up on homework during class. It is not necessary or recommended to miss a class because a homework assignment was not completed.

Intro to Sketch Writing is open to students ages 14-18. No improv experience is required, but it is recommended. It meets once a week for two hours over a seven week term. You don’t need to bring anything. Notebooks will be provided, but if you prefer to write on a laptop you can bring one. There is a short performance of the sketches written in this class the final week of class.

Advanced Sketch Writing

Advanced Sketch Writing is for teens who want to continue to hone their sketch writing skills. Students will take a deeper dive into writing sketch comedy. They will learn about scene structure, experiment with styles, and learn how to write good dialogue. They will further explore how to take an improvised scene and work it into a successful written scene. Collaboration is stressed more in this advanced class.

There will be even more in-class writing here. You will be given scenarios or topics for inspiration and write a sketch to be read in class. There will still be some improvisation involved. More focus will be placed on collaboration with other writers to create comedy sketches and get the feel of a writers’ room.

There will be a fair amount of homework assigned in this class. But, please note, this a low-pressure environment and there will be time to catch up on homework during class. It is not necessary or recommended to miss a class because a homework assignment was not completed.

Intro to Sketch Writing is open to teen students who have completed Intro to Sketch Writing. It meets once a week for two hours over a seven week term. You don’t need to bring anything. Notebooks will be provided, but if you prefer to write on a laptop you can bring one. There will be a staged reading of material generated in class at the end of the term.

Students are encouraged to take each level as many times as they like to get more practice or until they are comfortable to move forward with subsequent levels.

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Comedy Writing

Comedy Writing (ages 11-13)

Comedy Writing is for students who want to learn how to write sketch comedy or who want to learn how to translate their improv skills to paper. Writing good comedy scenes is not easy. This class will set students up with the fundamentals they need. This class will also improve…

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Steven Fischer's Wonderful, Happy, Cartoony Workshop!

Bring your story ideas to life in cartoons. We’ll explore the creative process, cartoon drawing fundamentals, character development, and more! In-class writing and drawing exercises help you discover new possibilities in developing and expressing your ideas and point of view. These exercises help you generate the ideas for your own…

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Improv Inspired Creative Writing (ages 11-13)

Love to write and want to find fun new ways to generate ideas? We will spend part of each class playing improv games to generate material. Together we will sort through the ideas the improv games inspired, followed by walking through story structure and writing techniques to create short stories…

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Improv Inspired Creative Writing (ages 14-18)

Love to write and want to find fun new ways to generate ideas? We will spend part of each class playing improv games to generate material. Together we will sort through the ideas the improv games inspired, followed by walking through story structure and writing techniques to create short stories…

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Online Classes

Teen Sketch Online (ages 15-18)

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 Online 2 (ages 15-18)

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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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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