Teaching Pittsburgh Comedy for over 10 years!

Have fun learning the art of comedy!

Since 2013, Arcade Comedy Theater’s Academy has been helping folks find their comedic voice, gain confidence, connect with others, and have a lot of fun. Comedy brings people together — and we’ve welcomed hundreds of budding performers and comedians into our doors over the years.  

Whether it’s improv, sketch, or stand-up, the Arcade Academy can teach you the art of comedy regardless of your experience. If you’re new to our training program, then start at the 100 level of improv classes and learn our philosophy from the ground up! Or if writing is more your style, we offer sketch comedy and stand-up classes too. Our classes are welcoming, accessible, and packed full of insights from some of the most experienced teachers in the city.

Get ready to have fun, meet people, and open yourself up to Pittsburgh’s growing comedy scene!

If you’re looking for more info about how all of this works, check out our Academy FAQ page.

We had some totally new people playing with us that have never taken improv before … it was fun being a part of introducing new people to improv/Arcade
Academy Student

Classes at the Arcade: Summer Speedrun Session in July 2024

943 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15222

Improv 101 Speedrun

MONDAYS 7-9 PM

Speedrun through the essentials of our Improv 101 class with this breezy summer class! Whether you’ve never performed before or if you’re a seasoned improvisor looking to return to basics, this accelerated intro class will teach you the foundations of improv comedy in just four short weeks! Students will show off what they’ve learned in a showcase performance on Sunday, August 4!

Instructor: Beth Geatches
4 weeks + Class Show
First class: July 8
Class show: Sunday August 4

$120| 18+

Acting for Improvisers

MONDAYS 7-9 PM

Enhance your improv comedy skills with this four-week class focused on acting and stage performance essentials. This four-week class will use classic theater exercises to teach students how to get more from their voice and physicality on stage while improvising. Students will also work with scripted scenes and monologues to help develop their understanding of character, emotion, and point of view in ways that will boost their unscripted performances as well! 

Instructor: Montaja Simmons
4 weeks + Class Show
First class: July 8
Class show: Sunday August 4
Prerequisites: Improv 101 & 102 at Arcade Comedy Theater or equivalent 

$120| 18+

Stand Up Speedrun

TUESDAYS 7–9PM

This 4-week accelerated class is designed for improvisors and sketch comedians who want to take a quick dip in the wild waters of stand-up comedy. Learn the essentials of the art of stand-up from constructing jokes to what on Earth you are supposed to do with the microphone. This speedy summer class will conclude with a performance of the students’ work-in-progress stand-up sets on Sunday August 4th.

4 weeks + Class Show
Instructor: Brittany Alexis
First class: July 9
Class show: Sunday August 4
Prerequisites: Some stage experience, e.g. Improv 101 

$120 | 18+

Scenework Sharpener

SATURDAYS 3-5 PM

Improvisors looking to tune up their scenework will love this speedy summer class that refreshes and refines essential improv skills like powerful initiations, bold choices, commitment to character and emotion, and finding and playing Game of the Scene. This class is appropriate for anyone with at least basic improv experience, from rising graduates of 101 classes to veterans seeking a refresh on scenework fundamentals.

Instructor: Tyler Ray Kendrick
4 weeks + Class Show
First class: July 13
Class show: Sunday August 4
Prerequisites: Improv 101 at Arcade Comedy Theater or similar intro-level class. 

$120 | 18+

Here’s what you need to know:

Arcade Academy sessions generally run eight weeks. Classes take place at our theater at 943 Liberty Avenue or on rare occasions off-site at a nearby Cultural Trust-owned property. If you’d like to register for a class, just click the big buttons and you’ll be taken to our ShowClix registration page. It’s a fast & secure way to register for classes online with your credit card. Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Unless specified otherwise, these classes are for adults 18 and older. Teachers listed may be subject to change at the Arcade’s discretion or as a result of unforeseen scheduling conflicts — while we try to avoid teacher substitution, it does happen from time and time and is not grounds for a refund.

The Arcade is also accepting a limited number of interns. Click here to learn more about our internship program.

We’ve revised our policy regarding course prerequisites: students need to meet all pre-reqs before signing up for an advanced level class. Every improv school approaches these techniques and philosophies differently, and so does the Arcade. So it’s good for you and your classmates if everyone has the same level of Arcade Academy training and vocabulary. You can find all of our current policies on our Academy FAQ page.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to call us at 412-339-0608 and we’ll get back to you right away!

Accessibility

Arcade is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our patrons, students, and performing artists. If you have any accessibility requirements, please contact us at: academy@arcadecomedytheater.com

943 Liberty Avenue

During the week, the Arcade transforms into an amazing, multi-classroom learning space with classes taking place in our downstairs and upstairs theaters as well as our second floor lounge.

937 Liberty Avenue

Certain classes may take place next door to the Arcade in the Cultural Trust multi-use space of 937 Liberty Ave on the third floor.