Workshops

Workshop cost is $60-$75 per student for each 4-hour Master Class and $30 per student for each 2-hour class. In the event that a workshop sells out, you can request to be put on a waiting list. Email Asaf below. Basic Info:
  • Workshops are open to anyone, but it is recommended that students have some improv experience.
  • On the day of the class, students can register in person with cash or check if the class limit has not been met.
  • A student’s spot in a workshop is forfeited if they are more than 10 minutes late to class.
  • Anyone else on the waiting list will be able to take the spot
Please send your questions and concerns to Asaf Ronen, our Education Director. (Email: asaf EAT outofboundscomedy DIRT com)

Back on the Joy Ride w/Susan Messing

Sat, 08/03 – 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Location: The New Movement Spaces: 30/50 See Bookings

You’ve lost that loving improv feeling, doing the same thing again and again, hoping for a different result. You are the definition of insanity. This class will give you lots of great tips that will have you immediately back on the joy ride again.

messingSusan Messing is a director, actress, comedian, author, and teacher living in Chicago. As a founding member of The Annoyance Theater, she has created roles in over 30 original productions including ‘Co-Ed Prison Sluts.’ Her work there and at the iO Theater over the last 30+ years has elevated her status to legendary, now being regarded as one of the teachers at the forefront of improvisational comedy. She performs and teaches at iO, the Annoyance, DePaul, Loyola, and the University of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune called her “one of Chicago’s finest improvisers – male or female.”

Student quotes!

“Susan Messing – oh man, she is the real deal.”

“Susan’s workshop didn’t feel like work at all. It was nothing but playing and I loved every last second of it.”

“I’m horny for how smart Messing is about improv.”
To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

The Start Up w/Rachel Mason

Sat, 08/03 – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Location: The New Movement Spaces: 12/50 See Bookings

Be productive! Learn techniques to make scenes happen immediately. Create games based either verbally or physically and then heighten balls. With Second City’s head of Advanced Improv and iO Chicago veteran, Rachael Mason.

masonRachael Mason began her career in improvisation at Skidmore College, home of the National College Comedy Festival, with the Ad-Liberal Artists. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, concentrating on Shakespearean Studies, she moved to Chicago to study improv comedy with Del Close. She trained at The Second City, The Annoyance, and iO. Currently she performs with The Second City Improv Allstars, and The Playboys. She is most happy when she is teaching improv. For 3 years she has been on the faculty at The Second City and currently serves as Head of Advanced Improvisation.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

Horny & Gay w/Susan Messing and Rachael Mason

Sun, 08/04 – 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Location: Salvage Vanguard Theater Spaces: 8/50 See Bookings

A master class with The Boys. This class is a good old fashioned ass kicking from Susan and Rachael. Notes, side coaching, critique, and maybe even suggestive comments for everybody with Susan’s brand of horny and Rachael’s brand of gay.

messingSusan Messing is a director, actress, comedian, author, and teacher living in Chicago. As a founding member of The Annoyance Theater, she has created roles in over 30 original productions including ‘Co-Ed Prison Sluts.’ Her work there and at the iO Theater over the last 30+ years has elevated her status to legendary, now being regarded as one of the teachers at the forefront of improvisational comedy. She performs and teaches at iO, the Annoyance, DePaul, Loyola, and the University of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune called her “one of Chicago’s finest improvisers – male or female.”

masonRachael Mason began her career in improvisation at Skidmore College, home of the NationalCollege Comedy Festival, with the Ad-Liberal Artists. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, concentrating on Shakespearean Studies, she moved to Chicago to study improv comedy with Del Close. She trained at The Second City, The Annoyance, and iO. Currently she performs with The Second City Improv Allstars, and The Playboys. She is most happy when she is teaching improv. For 3 years she has been on the faculty at The Second City and currently serves as Head of Advanced Improvisation.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

Storytelling Skills: Wow Your Crowd w/Kevin Allison

Fri, 08/30 – 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Location: The Hideout Theatre – Downstairs Spaces: 14/17 See Bookings

CURRENTLY SOLD OUT. Audit spots available for sale below.
“Auditing” a workshop means you simply observe / take notes. You must remain seated and should not participate in any of the exercises.

In this workshop, Kevin Allison (founder of The Story Studio, RISK! and member of The State) will teach you the skills to wow a crowd with your story. You will learn how to select compelling story topics, use the “5 Beat” structure to build suspense, bring dimensional characters and emotional experience to life with “The 6 Senses,” and delve into the larger thematic meaning of your narrative.

This class encourages participation: everyone will be given the opportunity to apply storytelling techniques to one of their own stories.  A few students will be given the opportunity to share their story live on stage and receive constructive feedback so that we all can learn together. Each participant will leave with a 3-to-6 minute story that builds on the principles taught during the class.

photograph of Kevin AllisonAbout Kevin:

If you’re a comedy lover, you’ll know Kevin Allison from the legendary sketch comedy group, The State. If you liked “The Jew, The Italian and the Red-Head Gay” on the The State’s series on MTV, Kevin was the titular Redhead Gay. In 2009, Kevin created the popular live show and podcast RISK!, where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share. His other film and TV appearances include Reno 911!, The Ten, Stella and Flight of the Conchords. Behind the scenes, Kevin has written for Blue Man Group. JibJab and SomeEcards. In the print world, his writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Giant, Premiere and Film Journal. He has served as the Artistic Director of The Peoples Improv Theater in New York, taught comedy writing at New York University and founded his own storytelling school and corporate training center at thestorystudio.org .

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

From Page to Stage w/ Jane Morris

Fri, 08/30 – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Location: The Hideout Theatre – Downstairs Spaces: 9/15 See Bookings

Jane Morris conducts a solo performance workshop that takes your work from idea to staging, to performing. The class works with actors and writers at any level of the process, whether you’re just getting started, or you feel almost ready to mount a whole solo show. Look at your work from various angles, as a personal story, as satire, as action, as dialogue. Stop waiting to perform. Start working right now! The workshop, now in its second year, has produced 6 original shows. Your performance can be next!

About Jane Morris

jane morris croppedJane Morris, a founder of the Second City ETC in Chicago, Jane has been a writer, performer and director for the Second City and in her own venues for the past 20 years. Dubbed “The Harriet Tubman of Comedy” by friends, Jane and her husband, Jeff Michalski have owned and operated UpFront Comedy and the Comedy Underground in Santa Monica and is currently the managing director of the fanaticSalon in Culver City. Jane had numerous television credits, most recently “Behind the Candelabra” with Matt Damon for HBO. For a full list of Jane’s television and movie credits visit her IMDB page.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

Mask Workshop W/Ezra Weisz

Sat, 08/31 – 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Location: The Hideout Theatre – Classroom Spaces: 13/16 See Bookings

Maximum: 16 students

Mask Characterization is an acting process developed by Libby Appel. It is taught by
very few throughout the country and is an exciting and demanding journey into the ever-expanding world of artistic/theatrical development. The workshop will begin
with a basic exploration in organic improvisation. After we get familiar with the style of “play” we will move forward into the Mask component of the workshop. Mask work is exciting, raw, scary, amazing and tiring (physically and mentally). You will grow as an actor and have a memory of an experience that will last your entire life as an artist. If you are interested in taking the workshop here are some basic rules:
1. You must bring a journal / notebook (new) to class with you.
2. You must wear ALL BLACK, form fitting clothes.
3. Bring a water bottle filled with water and a snack or energy bar (you will need it, it’s a physical class).

EzraWeisz-warmupguy_01-webAbout Ezra:

EZRA WEISZ left his home of New Jersey to study theater at California Institute of the Arts. After graduating in 1994 with a B.F.A., he moved to the greater Los Angeles area to better pursue his career in the theater and television. Ezra has performed in such venues as Pasadena’s The Ice House, the world famous Comedy Store, and Bang Comedy Theater and in such shows as iProv, The Doubtful Guests and The Truth. He has traveled to Dubai, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey and Chicago performing in venues and festivals. In 2009 Ezra and The Doubtful Guests headlined the Chicago Improv Festival in the famed Lakeshore Theater.
Ezra was the Director of the School of Improvisation at Bang Comedy Theater from 1999 to 2012 where directed many hit shows at bang, including the hit sketch comedy show “L.A.Women” and the 2 year sold out run of “Streep Tease.” Ezra has conducted workshops for professional corporations and institutions. He has been invited to work with such companies as Direct TV, NPR’s “Market Place,” Disney Feature Animation, Rhythm and Hues, Universal and the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2002 Ezra began work in television as an Audience Warm-up performer. He warms up such Disney Channel shows as So Random, Jessie, Austin and Ally, Ant Farm, Wizards of Waverly Place, I’m In The Band, Pair Of Kings and Sonny with a Chance. Since his start in the business Ezra has warmed up hundreds of audiences at live tapings, making people laugh and enjoy the experience.
He started the Youth Improv Program and bang comedy theater in Hollywood in 2009 and currently teaches improv and scene study at The Talent House Academy in Burbank, Ca.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

Organic Improv w/ Todd Stashwick

Sat, 08/31 – 12:00 PM – 4:30 PM | Location: The Hideout Theatre – Downstairs Spaces: 15/16 See Bookings

Maximum: 16 students

Organic Improvisation is about exploring the interface between players, honing the player into a heightened state of receptivity, called “predator mind.” Grounding the work in physicality puts the character and environment into the body, to get the player out of their head. The class is a synthesis of clown exercises and physical group work with an emphasis on experimentation and theatricality. Dress to move!

toddstashwick2About Todd:

graduated from Illinois State University Theater Dept. in 1990. A Chicago native, he has trained at both The Second City and Improv Olympic. He was hired as a performer to the Second City Chicago, where he toured, taught and wrote shows. In 1995 he moved to NYC and deepened his improv exploration with the critically acclaimed, experimental, improv troupe Burn Manhattan. In 2000 he moved to Los Angeles where he formed the macabre improvised cabaret The Doubtful Guests. In 2002 he co-founded the improv training school The Hothouse STC. In 2004 he went to Liverpool, England where he developed the improvised show Hoof! He continues to teach and perform at festivals and abroad. He works as an actor television and film. His resume includes shows The Riches, Heroes, Supernatural, Men of a Certain Age, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Burn Notice and others. He is also the co-creator of the action/horror webcomic Devil Inside.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

Sharpen Your Point Of View w/David Razowsky

Sat, 08/31 – 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Location: The Hideout Theatre – Upstairs Spaces: 15/34 See Bookings

Maximum: 14 students

The very first exchanges of your scene tell you all you need to know about who you are and where to emotionally and energetically go. Are you aware of that? Are you listening to yourself at that time? Hmm? Are ya’? This workshop will guide you to your point of view, and have you following yourself confidently, bravely, excitedly, and easily. It’s as simple as that!

Hi res headshotAbout David:

DAVID RAZOWSKY is one of the top teachers of theatrical improvisation and acting. He has been called “the guru of improvisation, an improviser’s improviser,” who connects the mindfulness of Buddhism with improvisation’s core principals of being in the moment, taking care of your partner, and groundedness. In his 25-year improvisation career David has worked with The Second City, iO West, The Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Dreamworks, BBC’s Whose Line Is It Anyway, and Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago Theatre. He was Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center Los Angeles, has been honored with an INNY award for Best Improv Coach, and is adjunct faculty in the California State University system. He has been a featured performer and lecturer at the Chicago Improv Festival, The San Francisco Improv Festival, the Vancouver Improv Festival, and The Kennedy Center. David continues to act and direct professionally in Los Angeles.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

The Other Conflicts W/Jill Bernard

Sat, 08/31 – 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Location: The New Movement Spaces: 19/38 See Bookings

Maximum: 18 students

We spend too much time on Man vs. Man. What other conflicts are there? Man vs. Nature, Man vs.Society, Man vs. Himself, etc. In this workshop we’ll explore what we can do besides bicker with each other. Please wear closed toe shoes to this workshop.

jillAbout Jill:

JILL BERNARD has been performing with ComedySportz-Twin Cities since 1993, and is a founding member of HUGE Theater in Uptown Minneapolis. Her one-woman improv piece, Drum Machine, has been featured in over forty improv festivals. She has taught and performed improv in Norway, Australia, Canada, Argentina and over thirty-five of the United States; and also on an episode of MTV “Made.” She is one-half of the duo SCRAM with Joe Bill of the Annoyance Theater. An Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival, she has studied at the Annoyance Theater, Improv Olympic, the Brave New Workshop and other organizations; and is the recipient of the 2005 Chicago Improv Festival Avery Schreiber Ambassador of Improv Award, and the 2007 Miami Improv Festival award for Best Solo Show. She was also the winner, in January 2000, of the Executive Vice President Award for outstanding contribution to Human Resources, the highest award in the American Express Human Resources function. She’s also the voice of God, the Holy Ghost, the Virgin Mary and other religious figures in a series of confirmation videos for Sparkhouse.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details

Sharpen Your Point Of View w/David Razowsky

Sat, 08/31 – 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Location: The Hideout Theatre – Upstairs Spaces: 17/36 See Bookings

CURRENTLY SOLD OUT

The very first exchanges of your scene tell you all you need to know about who you are and where to emotionally and energetically go. Are you aware of that? Are you listening to yourself at that time? Hmm? Are ya’? This workshop will guide you to your point of view, and have you following yourself confidently, bravely, excitedly, and easily. It’s as simple as that!

Hi res headshotAbout David:

DAVID RAZOWSKY is one of the top teachers of theatrical improvisation and acting. He has been called “the guru of improvisation, an improviser’s improviser,” who connects the mindfulness of Buddhism with improvisation’s core principals of being in the moment, taking care of your partner, and groundedness. In his 25-year improvisation career David has worked with The Second City, iO West, The Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Dreamworks, BBC’s Whose Line Is It Anyway, and Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago Theatre. He was Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center Los Angeles, has been honored with an INNY award for Best Improv Coach, and is adjunct faculty in the California State University system. He has been a featured performer and lecturer at the Chicago Improv Festival, The San Francisco Improv Festival, the Vancouver Improv Festival, and The Kennedy Center. David continues to act and direct professionally in Los Angeles.

To register, see pricing, availability, and other information: View Details