This year, comedy enthusiasts can do more than watch stand-up comedians at the New York Comedy Festival, they can also train with The Second City. Carolines and The Second City Training Center have partnered to bring a selection of improvisation, writing, and stand-up workshops to the New York Comedy Festival. ½-day, full-day, and 4-day workshops will be available for the duration of the festival, along with limited access to Second City’s newest creation, the Harold Ramis Film School. Workshops will take place at Ripley-Grier Studios, The Public Hotel, and Carolines on Broadway. Limited availability.

 

Featured Courses at the 2017 New York Comedy Festival

Introduction to Improvisation


This immersion is for anyone and everyone who has ever watched comedy and thought “That looks fun; I’d like to try that.” The basics include giving and taking focus, supporting the choices of your ensemble-mates, and, of course, “Yes, And.”

Saturday, November 11, 1pm-4pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

 Sketch Writing


Dive into the techniques and philosophy of the Second City style of writing sketch comedy. Learn how to generate a comic premise, mine your experiences for content, and explore the underlying structure of sketch comedy. Unpack the history and anatomy of the scenes you already love. This program also uses improvisation to find characters and create dialogue. No experience required.

Tuesday, November 7 – Friday, November 10, 6:30pm-10pm • $325 (SAVE $30 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Stand-Up


Jay Leno, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld: where did these unique, culture-defining voices come from? How did they develop? What were they doing before they stood on the Carolines stage? Develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and work-shopping your own material. By studying how stand-up comics discover voice, you’ll refine your own, and experiment while discovering your own unique style.

Tuesday, November 7 – Friday, November 10, 6:30pm-10pm • $325 (SAVE $30 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Creating and Writing an Original Sketch Comedy Script for Television

 

A four-day immersive writing course in which the entire class works together to achieve one goal—creating and writing an original thirty-minute sketch comedy show. The course will take the students through every phase of the creative process—developing the show premise, pitching sketch ideas, writing the sketches, the table read where sketches are picked over others, note taking, the process of rewriting in the writers room, as well as producing and shooting a few pre-produced location sketch pieces.

The workshop will also examine the different types of sketches from observational, character, pop culture, political, musical and remote scenes while viewing and analyzing classic sketch pieces.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 – Friday, Nov. 10, 9am-5pm • $645 • Register Here

 

 

Character Generator


This high-energy workshop will offer improvisers a variety of tools to quickly generate characters and put them into play. Learn both internal and external tricks to increase your range, add depth to your choices, and increase your confidence. Get out of your head and into your character. Previous improvisation experience recommended.

Sunday, November 12, 1pm-4pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Dramatic Improvisation


Get ready to take your comedic scene work to the next level by creating honest moments without going right for a laugh. This workshop will focus on real character interaction by approaching scenes from a grounded point of view, and will give students new tools to build substantive scenes with an emotional and cathartic payoff. Learning to make honest and grounded choices yields high-level theater, and can help you become a better actor, improviser, and scene partner. Previous improvisation experience recommended.

Thursday, November 9, 4pm-7pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Improv Fundamentals for Teens


Students ages 14 -18 that have ever watched comedy and thought “That looks fun; I want to try that.” Improv students will play legendary Second City improv games, create fun characters, and have a lot of laughs! This class will help students build confidence and learn public speaking skills in a fun environment.

Saturday, November 11, 1pm-4pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Improvising with Power


Do you know how it feels when you are improvising in “the zone?” When you feel like every move you make is working and you’re on a roll? That is what happens when you improvise from a position of creative power. This half-day workshop will try to help you get into that zone more quickly and offer tips on how to stay there. Learn to avoid some of the biggest traps in improvisation – the moves that give away your power – and learn how to make stronger offers, initiations, and choices. Previous improvisation experience recommended.

Thursday, November 9, 7pm-10pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here
Friday, November 10, 4pm-7pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Introduction to Writing Satire


Got opinions? Mad about something? Do you have a person or institution in power you want to criticize? Get it all out through writing satire! In this three-hour intro workshop, you’ll learn Second City brainstorming techniques, how to form a comedic premise, and how to sculpt your point of view as a writer. Students will go through the brainstorming process as a group and workshop titles and ideas for future pieces by the end of the class. We will discuss forms used on sites like McSweeney’s and The New Yorker. No prerequisites required.

Wednesday, November 8, 7pm-10pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here
Saturday, November 11, 1pm-4pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Notes, Notes, Notes


Notes, Notes, Notes gives advanced students the chance to get structured and direct feedback on scene work at the highest level. This small class, workshop environment will provide coaching specifically tailored to the needs of the ensemble and individual students.

Saturday, November 11, 1pm-4pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

 

Turning Improv Into Sketch


Explore how Second City uses improvisation as a process to find and refine sketch ideas. Learn what makes a good improv pitch, how to work with beats, and what kinds of improv sets and forms we use to find and explore sketches. Previous improvisation experience recommended.

Sunday, November 12, 1pm-4pm • $90 (SAVE $15 through Sept. 30) • Register Here

Comedies and Cocktails Presented by The Harold Ramis School

For over 50 years, The Second City has reigned as the first name in improvisation and creative collaboration. As of 2016, it’s also home to the world’s first film school dedicated entirely to comedy.
Join Harold Ramis Film School Chair and Hollywood producer Trevor Albert along with HRFS Program Director and film director Jack C. Newell for a gathering of comedic minds. Hear behind-the-scenes stories about what it was like working on comedy classics like Groundhog Day, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Caddyshack, insight on how the next generation of comedic storytellers is creating content, and why Chicago is the best place on Earth to hone your comedic voice.