Introductory Storytelling Workshop with Ada Cheng

In this well-rounded introductory storytelling class, we will discuss basic tenets of storytelling art, including the structure of stories, oral vs. written traditions, storytelling vs. live-lit scenes in Chicago, performative and emotional components in storytelling, the dynamics between storytellers and audience members, and the purpose of storytelling. Students will learn to construct and tell stories in this class.

Ada Cheng is a professor-turned storyteller and performing artist. She has been featured at storytelling shows in Chicago, Atlanta, Cedar Rapids, New York, Asheville, and Kansas City. She debuted her first solo show, Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire, and performed it at the National Storytelling Conference, Capital Fringe Festival, Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Boulder Fringe Festival in 2017. She debuted her second solo show, Breaking Rules, Broken Hearts: Loving across Borders, with Fillet of Solo and performed it at both The Exit Theatre in San Francisco and the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York in 2018. She will be taking this solo performance to Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival in March this year. Ada is a speaker for Illinois Humanities 2019-2020 Road Scholars Speakers Bureau. She is also a teaching artist for Changing Worlds and an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University. She is the producer and the host of several storytelling shows, including Pour One Out: A Monthly Storytelling Series, Am I Man Enough?, and Talk Stories: Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell.

When: Saturdaysys from 12-3pm from April 6th - April 27th
Where: “2nd Beat Room” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 12 student maximum


Ada Cheng

Register Here

Film School Distilled: Editing

Ever wish you could just get the most important information you'd learn in film school without spending a fortune or a ton of time? Then this is the class for you. Val Agnew has gone through graduate film school and she wants to save you the trouble. In her "distilled" courses she will take everything she has learned and share the most practical and important information you'll need to get going on making your own films and videos.

In the editing edition of the class, she will cover the practical editing process from script break-down to export & delivery, tips & tricks, editing for genre & impact, and troubleshooting strategies.

Please note, this is not a how-to on editing with a particular software, but rather information to help you no matter what system you are using and no matter how large or small your project is. No editing software is required to take this class, however having something to practice on at home will enhance the experience.

Val Agnew, Creative Director of the iO Comedy Network, is a filmmaker, writer, and performer from Chicago, IL. Three years ago, Val quit her job in corporate America to go to film school at Depaul University. Since then she has served as video coordinator for 3 political campaigns, has become the resident editor on several local comedy video projects including Character Diaries, and has directed and edited video sketches for iOCN and independently. She is eager to share her experience from inside and outside the classroom to help more people make their ideas a reality.

When: Wednesdays from 6:30 - 9:30pm from April 3rd - April 24th
Where: “Writing Room” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 8 student maximum


Val Agnew

Register Here

Budget Video Production

Have you ever felt that you didn’t have the resources to turn your idea into a finished product? In Budget Production, Matt Mahaffey of Jane Barbe Productions will knock down the barriers to entry one by one. Don’t know how to do basic camera work, lighting and sound? He’ll share the essentials skills you’ll need to make your work look professional. Never planned a shoot before? He’ll walk you through the planning process. Having to work with limited resources? He’ll give you the tools you need to operate with a bare-bones budget and team. Eliminate the obstacles and make your ideas a reality.

Matt Mahaffey is a filmmaker and performer from Harford County, Maryland. He’s been shooting sketch and narrative film for over 10 years and currently co-owns and operates Jane Barbe Productions, a corporate and entertainment film company that specializes in comedy. Matt is involved in every aspect of filmmaking and enjoys teaching cinematography, editing, directing, and storytelling. In Chicago he has shot, edited and directed: 3 web series (26 episodes), a feature film, several TV pilots, and over 65 shorts/sketches in and out of the comedy community. When he’s not filming, writing, or acting in a project he is sleeping badly.

When: Sundays from 6:30 – 9:30pm from April 28th – June 16th
Where: “2nd Floor Event Space” located on the second floor of the iO Theater.
How many: 20 student maximum


Matt Mahaffey

Register Here