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Chicago-Style Comedy

Course dates

July 2 to July 15, 2018

Application deadline

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THIS COURSE HAS BEEN EXTENDED! Please contact the Course Coordinator for information.

  • Direct from Chicago! Study improvisational comedy and sketch with teaching and performing masters trained at Second City.
  • Learn the long- and short-form improvisational process.
  • Get in the groove with daily physical workouts.
  • Learn ensemble technique and the art of collaboration.
  • Experience daily work both by fellow students and teachers.
  • Perform in a public student showcase.


Undergraduate: DRAMA 422, 3 units
Graduate/post-baccalaureate: DRAMA 622, 3 units




Anyone who has an interest in learning about the delicate art of comedy. You do not have to have a background in theatre to participate; however, if you want to learn how as an actor you can use improvisation to enhance your work, this is the class for you. 


  • Submit a letter of interest describing what it is about this class that makes you want to participate. Include a YouTube link to a short video introduction of yourself.
  • Submit/upload the materials listed above when you apply online by April 30, 2018.


John Mayer

Guest Artists

David Razowsky

Dave Razowsky –

Dave Razowsky has acted in 10 revues at Chicago's Second City, performing with the likes of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Rachel Dratch. He's also the host of the award-winning podcast, ADD Comedy with Dave Razowsky. Through 10 years as artistic director of The Second City Los Angeles and countless worldwide workshops and performances, Dave has developed a simple approach to improvising: Your present awareness is the only thing you need to create compelling, smart, truthful, and surprising scenes. Period. No games, no preconceived premises, no ideas, no ego. All that matters is now. The actor’s level of improvisation experience doesn’t matter, for all you'll need to bring to Dave is your present presence. All you’ll leave with is your joy and excitement and confidence. And after all, what more do you need?

Amy Seeley

Amy Seeley -

Amy Seeley spent 10 years teaching and directing comedy and improvisation as a senior faculty member of The Second City training centers in both Chicago and Los Angeles. She studied with master teachers Del Close, Martin de Maat, and Mick Napier at theatres that include iO, Players Workshop, and The Second City.

Amy was a founding member of the Factory Theater in Chicago, where she wrote and directed her one-woman show "Amy Seeley and the Moline Madman." She sold a pilot to MTV, has several published comedic plays, and has directed and/or served as head writer on dozens of sketch and improv shows, plays, and musicals.

Mike Ross

Mike Ross -

Mike Ross spent 10 years teaching comedy writing and improvisation as a senior faculty member at The Second City Training Center in Los Angeles. He studied in Chicago with master teachers Del Close, Martin de Maat, and Mick Napier. Mike has written three optioned screenplays and has directed and/or served as head writer on dozens of sketch shows, long-form improv shows, plays, musicals, improvised short films, and solo performances. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana.

Rachel Hamilton

Rachel Hamilton -

Rachel Hamilton an improv teacher, performer, and producer. She caught improv fever during her first week of her freshman year at Northwestern University. "A wonderful improv team (Thanks for Coming!) came to perform at my dorm during new student week and ten minutes into their show, I had to stop myself from jumping up and joining them. Getting to play with smart and funny people, making up characters and scenarios on the spot?! Yes please! For me and Improv, it was love at first sight. And we have been together ever since.

Within weeks, I’d auditioned into that very group and quickly discovered that Improv was even more fun than I’d imagined. Which is why, almost thirty (gulp) years later I am still wildly excited about/fascinated by the endless bounty of gifts that Improv has to offer." After college, Rachel moved to Chicago and began training at The Second City and a couple of years later was cast in the company. Her peers and cast mates included Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Scott Adsit, Adam McKay, Tami Sagher, Nia Vardalos, Stephanie Weir, and those are just the famous people.

Evelyn Carol Case

Evelyn Carol Case

Evelyn Carol Case has been associated with CSU Summer Arts since 2003 as both a student and Guest Artist. Ms. Case holds BFA and MFA degrees in acting, has numerous certifications in yoga, Fitzmaurice Voicework, Alba Emoting Technique, and meditation practices. She has performed extensively throughout the USA as a member of the Actors' Equity Association and is a member of The Prague Shakespeare Company. Ms. Case joined CSU Faculty in 1993 as an acting teacher and voicemovement specialist. Passions for Ms. Case include teaching Kundalini Yoga, playing the gong, acting, travelling the wide world with her husband, Jim Volz and coming home to Summer Arts every chance she gets.

Dana Martin

Dana Martin

Dana Martin is an LA based theatre artist. Selected directing credits include: The Understudy (Bull and Bearer Theatre Co.) Metamorphoses (Art of Acting Studio),These Shining Lives (The Spare Change Series), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Light Theatre Project). Selected acting credits include: Still Dance the Stars (Chicago Dramatists/NLTP), Rocket to the Moon (Harold Clurman Lab Theatre). Martin is a regular contributor for Stage Raw and teaches L.A.’s one and only kitty yoga class. She heads the Movement Program at the Art of Acting Studio, Los Angeles and holds an MFA in performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

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