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Chicago-Style Comedy

Course dates

July 2 to July 15, 2018

Application deadline

April 30, 2018

  • 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. 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 and directing comedy writing and improvisation as a senior faculty member at The Second City Training Center in Los Angeles. Along with his wife, Amy Seeley, he studied with Del Close, Martin de Maat, and Mick Napier. He 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 wrote lyrics and starred as Luke Skywalker in iO Chicago’s hit musical parody, "Jedi! A Musical Tour de Force."

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.

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