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ONLINE CLASSES & WEBINARS

WE ARE NOW OFFERING ONLNE CLASSES DUIRNG THE CITY-WIDE STAY AT HOME ORDER!

Q&A Webinar with Kay Cannon

We are excited to announce iO will host a special one hour Q&A webinar with screenwriter, producer, director, and actress, Kay Cannon!

When: Tuesday, June 2, 4pm(CST)

Kay Cannon is the writer of the Pitch Perfect franchise which has grossed over $500M worldwide, and the writer-director of the upcoming musical comedy, a feature film reimagining of Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello, for Sony Pictures. Additional cast members include Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Pierce Brosnan, James Corden, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Missy Elliot, John Mulaney and Romesh Ranganatham.

Cannon made her feature film directing debut with the hit comedy Blockers, from Universal Pictures, starring Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz. It was recently announced that she will direct a film called 79ers from a script originally by Ben Schwartz.

Cannon is the Creator/Showrunner of the Netflix series Girlboss, based on Sophia Amoruso’s best-selling autobiography, starring Britt Robertson. There, she met her now-producing partner Laverne McKinnon, who served as Executive Producer on the show and the two launched their production company, K&L Productions. Their company has set-up several projects through their first-look deal with Sony Pictures TV.

Cannon got her start at such venerable comedic training grounds as ImprovOlympic, ComedySportz Chicago, and The Second City. There she met Tina Fey who gave Cannon her first job as a writer on NBC’s Emmy winning comedy 30 Rock. Cannon is a three-time Emmy nominee and the recipient of three Writers Guild Awards, and a Peabody for her work on 30 Rock.

Cannon is a board member for Steps of Faith Foundation, a non-profit that reconnects amputees to their communities, families, and workforces by relieving the financial burden of prosthetic care.

$10
Instructors:

Kay Cannon

REGISTER NOW!

Q&A Webinar with Neil Flynn

One hour Q&A webinar with actor, comedian, and voice actor, Nell Flynn.

When: Friday, June 19th at 3pm (CST)

Neil is best known for his roles as Janitor on Scrubs and Mike Heck in the ABC comedy series The Middle. He has had notable appearances in television series, such as That '70s Show, Seinfeld, CSI, and Smallville. His film career includes appearances in The Fugitive, Home Alone 3, Mean Girls, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. His voice-over work extends to films such as Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs, and the TV shows Bob's Burgers, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Clone High, King of the Hill and the Ratchet & Clank video games.

$10
Instructors:

Neil Flynn

REGISTER HERE!

Q&A Webinar with Ike Barinholtz

One hour Q&A webinar with actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer Ike Barinholtz.

When: Sunday, June 28th at 3pm. (CST)

Ike Barinholtz has established himself as one of the most sought-after comedic writers and actors in the comedy world. Barinholtz can most recently be seen in Universal’s The Hunt, and most recently heard as Wayne on FOX’s Bless The Harts, which was picked up for a second season.
He made his directorial debut in The Oath, where he starred alongside Tiffany Haddish, in October 2018.
Ike has recently starred in Amazon’s Late Night and Universal’s Blockers alongside John Cena and Leslie Mann. Additionally, he wrapped the final season of Hulu’s The Mindy Project in 2017, which he also served as a writer and producer on.
Barinholtz starred in Fox’s Snatched alongside Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, starred opposite Seth Rogan in Universal’s his comedies Neighbors and Neighbors 2, appeared in Warner Bro’s Suicide Squad and starred alongside Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in Universal’s Sisters. Additionally, he wrote the hit action comedy Central Intelligence with his writing partner David Stassen.
Barinholtz’s additional feature credits include Meet The Spartans, Disaster Movie and the indies Shrink, Lock and Roll Forever and Inventing Adam.

$10
Instructors:

Ike Barinholtz

REGISTER HERE!

Scenes and monologues in the state of Tennessee Williams

A four week two hour a week class exploring the famous playwrights style and creating scenes and monologues based on his style of southern mellow drama in film noir.

When: Classes start Thursday, June 11th. 7-9pm (CST) - Four week class.
Participant limit: 15 students

Norm has spent over 30 years directing, teaching and performing. He has served as Co-Chair of the Columbia College Theater Department with The Second City founding member Sheldon Patinkin, and Artistic Director, resident director and Conservatory Head at The Second City Chicago. He also goes way back with the iO Theater having directed Matt Besser and Amy Poehler in “How Much I lied”. Norm was part of “The Boys”, and can be seen at iO performing in the show “MOLLY”, alongside legendary performer and instructor, Susan Messing.

$150
Instructors:

Norm Holly

REGISTER HERE!

Satire Writing Level 1 - ONLINE with Max Stolte

In this four-week online course you will learn how to write satire in several styles. You will leave the class with a polished packet of work to be submitted to online and print publications as well as agents. Class will resemble a writer’s room setting and consist of pitching, workshopping, and writing satirical pieces to then be shared with the class. You will learn how to utilize the elements of satire and study classic examples in movies, television, and literature such as National Lampoon, Mel Brooks, The Onion and many more. Both courses are available to all ages.

When: Classes start Wednesday, June 10 6-9PM (CST) -Four week class
Participant limit: 10 Students.

Max Stolte is a writer, performer, and producer in Chicago. At iO he performed on the Harold team Pangea and Asswater, produces the podcast Mom’s Basement, co-produces the monthly show Fükhaus, and owns and operates the satirical website and magazine Word Brothel.

Max graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in English Education and has taught creative writing and literature classes. You can find his most recent writing at www.wordbrothel.com

$200
Instructors:

Max Stolte

REGISTER HERE!

Creating character through physicality with Jaime Landolfi

Body Over Mind: Creating character through physicality.
Character is at the heart of every improv choice we make. It is the filter through which we distill our creation making it inspired and unique. There are infinite ways that we can create character. One of the simplest and most overlooked is through physical choices. The only thing we truly own in improv is our own bodies, so let’s use them! This workshop will focus on character development using a series of physical exercises that tap into the body and physical choices as the foundation for creation. Work will culminate with character-driven scene work rooted in and inspired by the physical world. For the workshop, participants need to be prepared to move their bodies and have adequate space in which to do so.

When: Friday, June 19th. 1-3pm (CST)
Participant limit: 12 students

Jaime Landolfi has been a proud member of the Chicago improv community since 2004. She has been an ensemble member on several iO Harold teams over the years. Her current passion is teaching and inspiring others with a love for the craft. Jaime has taught Level 2 at the iO Chicago Training Center since 2016.

$50
Instructors:

Jaime Landolfi

REGISTER HERE!

Character Workshop with Norm Holly

Learn techniques in creating new characters and expanding on your existing ones. Creating characters through physical and intellectual choices for use in review, improv, and solo shows

When: Classes start Wednesday, June 3rd. 7-9pm (CST). 4 Class meetings
Participant limit: 15 students

Norm has spent over 30 years directing, teaching and performing. He has served as Co-Chair of the Columbia College Theater Department with The Second City founding member Sheldon Patinkin, and Artistic Director, resident director and Conservatory Head at The Second City Chicago. He also goes way back with the iO Theater having directed Matt Besser and Amy Poehler in “How Much I lied”. Norm was part of “The Boys”, and can be seen at iO performing in the show “MOLLY”, alongside legendary performer and instructor, Susan Messing.

$150
Instructors:

Norm Holly

REGISTER HERE!

SKETCH BOOTCAMP: BITS, BLACKOUTS & BRAINSTORMING with Rich Talarico

Blackouts are great batting practice for sketch writers. Each week writers will bring in 2-3 blackouts. (one joke illustrated) Class will be run writer’s room style as we review material, each week Rich will also give notes and assignments to help writers work on pitches, brainstorming techniques and of course, bits.

This is a 6-week class run by iO and Second City alum Rich Talarico who also worked 15+ years in late night and sketch on TV (MADtv, Key & Peele, SNL, The Tonight Show.)

When:
Classes start Tuesday, May 26. 6 to 9pm. (CST) -SOLD OUT.
Classes start Sunday, May 31st. 7 to 10pm. (CST) -This is a six week class.
*No class July 5th*
Participant limit: 10 students

Rich Talarico is a Peabody Award winning and four-time Emmy nominated writer and producer best known for his work on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. Rich has also written/produced Review for Comedy Central, FOX’s MADtv, NBC’s Saturday Night Live as well as, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Rich produced and wrote Frank TV for TBS and was a writer/performer on The Sketch Pad for HBO. Rich served as improv coach on the first Anchorman film and did script punch-ups on Mean Girls and the Oscar-winning Get Out. Rich's most recent feature film script, The Widow Daredevil, was named an official selection of the 2020 Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Rich took his first improv class from Stephen Colbert at Chicago’s Second City in 1992 and then went on the road with Second City’s National Touring Company. He later co-created five original sketch comedy revues with Second City's Etc. and Main Stage Companies. While in Chicago, Rich was a performer and teacher at Improv Olympic (now iO) under the direction of Charna Halpern and the late, Del Close. Rich played on iO house teams, co-created several shows and performed with early casts of Chicago’s longest-running improv show: "The Armando Diaz Experience, Theatrical Movement and Hootenanny".

Rich has appeared in small roles on MADtv, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the feature film, High Fidelity. Rich has appeared in several TV commercials, most notably A&W Rootbeer’s “Mr. Dumass”.

$300
Instructors:

Rich Talarico

REGISTER HERE!

Screenwriting 1 with Jeff Griggs

Screenwriting 1 will concentrate on the key components of turning a nugget of an idea into a fully realized script. This first level will concentrate on formatting, structure, plot narrative, rewriting, and crafting your first 30 pages. Through lectures, table reads, and class discussions, you will leave the class with a first draft of a first act of a functioning screenplay.

When: Classes start Tuesday, May 19th. 6 to 9pm (CST) - 8 week class
Participant limit: 18 students

Jeff Griggs is the author of the book Guru; My Days with Del Close and a member of Deep Schwa. He teaches comedy and comedy writing at DePaul University, Columbia College, and The Harold Ramis Film School. He also is a Director-At-Large for Second City Theater. Most recently, he directed Red, White and Blaine at IO Theater and The Soap Box Derby King at the Annoyance Theatre, along with several productions for the Second City Training Center and the Second City Theatricals. He is a current director for the Second City National Touring Company and is a faculty member in the training centers for Second City and IO Theater.

$300
Instructors:

Jeff Griggs

REGISTER HERE!

How to Improvise Remotely with Andy Junk & Alex Trepka

We're in an unprecedented time, but improvisation is a resilient artform! In this 2-hour workshop, we will cover all aspects of performance and development that can be done using remote video software (Zoom, Google Hangouts, Twitch, etc.). We'll cover the technical requirements for putting up a good remote improv show, but more importantly, we will focus on how to develop as an improviser while isolated. We will use the limitations of remote performance as tools to teach good habits; good habits that will improve your improvisation over webcam and beyond!

When: Thursday, May 21st from 7-9pm (CST)
Participant limit: 12 students

Andy Junk and Alex Trepka have performed with each other for over 10 years in Chicago, and throughout the United States. Separately, Andy Junk is a member of the Improvised Shakespeare Company and a professional actor. Alex Trepka is a teacher, coach and performer at the iO Theater and has been on house teams at iO, the CiC Theater, and The Playground. Together, Andy Junk and Alex Trepka are members of the veteran Harold Team "Gone Gone."

$40
Instructors:

Andy Junk & Alex Trepka

REGISTER HERE!

Old School Scene Construction with Ryan Archibald

nformation sharing and scene construction are two of the most important aspects of quality scene work, character development and storytelling. This workshop will help you develop a process to create a clear context for your improvisations, taking advantage of the line by line quality of online improvisation, this workshop will help you pick up a consistent process to collaborate and build awesome scenes you love to play in. After 25 years of improv, Arch values being an improviser who can play with anyone, in any style, and this workshop offers techniques and philosophies to help you connect with your team and unite you with your audience.

When: Wednesday, June 3rd and 10th. 7-10pm (CST). (Two class meetings)
Participant limit: 9 students max. $10

$100
Instructors:

Ryan Archibald

REGISTER HERE!

The 3 Person Scene with Ryan Archibald

Long-form curriculum often creates space to learn the 2 person scene, but many shows and forms will rely on scenes that will need more than 2 players to function. Mastering the multi-person scene can be difficult but very rewarding and will lead to excellent large ensemble shows, small-prov sets and even help in short-form improv games and sketch writing. This workshop focuses on techniques developed by Ryan Archibald and will help you quickly unlock a process to play scenes with multiple players with the same integrity and qualities of a ground 2 person scene.

When: Friday, June 5th and Friday June 12. 12-3pm (CST). (2 class meetings)
Participant limit: 9 students

$100
Instructors:

Ryan Archibald

REGISTER HERE!

The Small Ensemble Improv Show with Ryan Archibald

his online workshop will focus on the different techniques and forms most commonly used in small ensemble long-form improv shows. This lecture driven curriculum will cover the history of small ensemble shows in Chicago, with insight on the changes and the most interesting developments in style and technique. The goal of the workshop is to inform you on the possibilities of small ensemble long-form and to help you create a blue print for future shows.

When: Sunday, June 7 and Sunday, June 14. 12-3pm (CST). (2 class meetings)
Participant limit: 14 students

Ryan Archibald started classes at iO Theater (formerly Improv Olympic) in 1997 and has since performed, taught and directed countless hours of long-form improvisation and sketch comedy. Over the past 2 decades Ryan has worked with dozens of different ensembles including: People of Earth, 3033, The Boys, Bullet Lounge, Del-tones, The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience, Movement and Hootenanny, and most recently, Search Engine. Arch has also taught, directed and performed at The Second City in Chicago & Las Vegas, Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago, and Atlanta’s Village Theatre where he worked as Artistic Director. In 2020, Arch has returned home to share his passion, love and knowledge with fellow Chicago artists & storytellers while remaining at a safe distance.

$100
Instructors:

Ryan Archibald

REGISTER HERE!

TV Pilot Presentation Writing Class

An eight-week course that has as its goal a collection of deftly written documents: treatment(s), character descriptions, episode scenarios, promo script, and pilot script–the overall goal being a thoroughly thought through concept from beginning-to-end that can be read and defended in a pitch meeting.

Here’s how it shakes out week-to-week: the student learns to write jokes based on the news (1st week); to expand those jokes into character and commentary monologues (2nd week); to pitch concepts for desk pieces (3rd week), remote ideas (5th week) and various segment ideas (6th week); to create two parody sketches (4th week); and to critique, assess and rewrite a rough version into a final draft (7th week); and to complete the writing and rewriting of a letter to a literary agent (8th week).

When: Classes start Sunday, June 28th at 2PM to 5PM (CST).
Participant limit: 16 students
*Seven weeks as a group; in the 8th week, class will not meet as a group, but instructor will engage in a 30 minute conference call with each student so that they can read their second draft, and instructor can give notes.
Some classes will be two hours, and students will be asked to review videos on their own schedule.

$325.00
Instructors:

Kim Howard Johnson

REGISTER HERE!

Sitcom Spec Script Writing Class

SITCOM SPEC SCRIPT, is an eight-week course that has as its goal a sitcom spec script of a currently running show—whether a multi-camera network sitcom; a single-camera network sitcom; a single-camera basic cable sitcom; a single-camera premium cable sitcom; or an animated sitcom—suitable for submission to literary agents, network executives and/or TV executive producers. And to that end the student has complete access to all that The Comedy Lab and The iO Chicago has to offer.
Here’s how it shakes out week- to-week: the student chooses a show and creates six pitches (1st week); a single pitch is chosen and then partially outlined (2nd week); a detailed, scene-by-scene outline is completed (3rd week); special focus on the cold opening, the act break and the tag (4th week); completion of the first act (5th week); completion of the second act (6th week); brutal rewrites (7th week); and in the 8th week, class will not meet as a group, but instructor will engage in a 30 minute conference call with each student so that they can read their second draft, and instructor can give notes.

When: Classes start Sunday, June 28th at 11AM to 2PM (CST)
Participant limit: 16 students
*Seven weeks as a group; in the 8th week, class will not meet as a group, but instructor will engage in a 30 minute conference call with each student so that they can read their second draft, and instructor can give notes.
Some classes will be two hours, and students will be asked to review videos on their own schedule.

$325
Instructors:

Kim Howard Johnson

REGISTER HERE!

Talk Show Portfolio Writing Class

TALK SHOW PORTFOLIO, is an eight-week course that has as its goal a four- page, state-of-the-art talk show portfolio suitable for submission to literary agents, TV producers, and network executives–and to that end the student has complete access to all that The Comedy Lab and The iO Theater has to offer.

Here’s how it shakes out week-to-week: the student learns to write jokes based on the news (1st week); to expand those jokes into character and commentary monologues (2nd week); to pitch concepts for desk pieces (3rd week), remote ideas (5th week) and various segment ideas (6th week); to create two parody sketches (4th week); and to critique, assess and rewrite a rough version into a final draft (7th week); and to complete the writing and rewriting of a letter to a literary agent (8th week).

When:
Monday, June 29 at 12:30-3:30pm (CST) - 8 week class
Monday, June 29 at 6:30-9:30pm (CST) - 8 week class
Participant Limit: 16 students

$325
Instructors:

Kim Howard Johnson

REGISTER HERE!

SNL Sketch Packet Writing Class

SNL SKETCH PACKET, is an eight-week course that has as its goal an SNL sketch packet, comprised of at least eight separate sketches, suitable for submission to literary agents, TV producers, as well as SNL itself—and to that end the student has complete access to all that The Comedy Lab and The iO Theater has to offer, including the performance of his or her material by The Comedy Lab Players (a rotating cast of 15 talented sketch actors).

Here’s how the course shakes out week-to-week: the student learns to write jokes based on the news, as well as a cold opening sketch (1st week); those jokes are then expanded into two separate host-type monologues (2nd week); the student then creates a streamlined version of Weekend Update (3rd week); creates two commercial parody sketches and one digital short (4th week); writes for the live performance of a sketch that parodies an existing TV show, and a current film (5th week); writes a sketch that incorporates an existing character within the current ensemble (6th week); writes a cast scene comprised of five or more characters (7th week); and prepares for a live show, not to mention developing a business plan (8th week), toward the goal of getting an agent, etc…

When: Classes start Wednesday, July 1st at 6:30-9:30pm (CST)
Participant limit: 16 students

Kim Howard Johnson is a founding member of the Baron’s Barracudas (the first house team of the ImprovOlympic–now the iO), co-wrote Truth in Comedy with Charna Halpern and Del Close, and wrote The Funniest One in the Room: the Lives and Legends of Del Close, the biography of his longtime friend. He has performed, taught, and directed improvisation and comedy for many years.

$325
Instructors:

Kim Howard Johnson

REGISTER HERE!