Teaching Pittsburgh Comedy for over 10 years!

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: December, 2022

Is a COVID-19 vaccination required to take Arcade classes?

Vaccination against COVID-19 is now required to take Arcade classes. On your first day of class you must show an image of your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to be admitted to class. If you have registered for a class and are not vaccinated, you will not be able to attend. Please contact our General Manager to be issued a refund.

To find a vaccine provider, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/, and feel free to contact us if we can provide any assistance.

What is your mask policy for classes and what other COVID-19 safety precautions are in place? *UPDATED*

While masking is no longer a requirement, students and teachers are welcome to wear masks on stage and in the classroom if they feel more comfortable doing so. We ask that students who aren’t feeling well stay home—please see the questions below about missing class and transferring registration should medical issues prevent you from completing a course.

How do I sign up for classes?
Arcade Academy typically has five 8-week “terms” per calendar year, with some shorter classes and many 1-off workshops offered as well. When classes are open and available to purchase, you can do so here. Full payment is due at time of purchase in order to secure your spot in the class. Information on internships, scholarships, and refund policy are found below.
I already have improv experience, do I need to start at Improv 101?

All individuals new to Arcade Academy are encouraged to first take Improv 101: Foundations, and follow the “full curriculum track” to have the best, most rewarding educational experience. We have found that students who start at the beginning together and continue on have lasting friendships, enriched experiences, and a strong class bond. That said, we understand that improvisers with extensive experience from outside theaters may wish to start at a class other than Improv 101, and we want to accommodate you if possible. If you would like to sign up for a class that has Arcade Academy prerequisites you have not completed but you feel you have sufficient outside training to be prepared, we welcome you to fill out THIS FORM and tell us about it.

Your submission will be reviewed by our Academy Director, who will be in touch. Things that will be considered when considering any request: which class you’re interested in starting with and why, description of previous classes/curriculum, when previous classes were taken, class capacity and availability, etc. Keep in mind that classes may sell out while we process your request.

Do I have to audition?
Nope. No audition required. It’s possible you may see auditions advertised from time to time for upcoming shows happening at the Arcade but… that’s not this.
Do you offer internships?
Yes, Arcade offers  a limited number of internships each term for students interested in reduced cost or free classes in exchange for working front of house at Arcade shows (selling tickets, checking in guests, ushering, etc). Learn more about our internship program here.
Do you offer scholarships?

Currently, Arcade offers a Diversity Scholarship.  Scholarship recipients on the Improv Track are awarded a complete education in improv comedy with 5 classes from Arcade’s core curriculum. Recipients on the Stand-Up/Writing Track are awarded 3 classes of their choosing from the disciplines of Stand Up, Writing, and Improv, and may take the same class multiple times should they wish. Additionally, all scholarship recipients will receive mentorship from Arcade instructors and performance opportunities. This scholarship is open to those who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color; LGBTQIA+; or belong to underrepresented groups that may not have access to invest in a comedy education. Learn more about our scholarship here.

Do students get free or discounted admission to shows?

Seeing shows is a significant component to a full comedy education, so we strongly encourage all students to see as many shows as possible. Arcade students can see most shows free with your Student ID if seats are available. This is on a first come, first served basis. If a student wants to guarantee seating at a show, they should purchase for full price in advance.

Who's teaching?
Our teacher bio page can be found here. Arcade may substitute or replace one of our expertly trained teachers for another of our expertly trained teachers without notice when necessary.
What if I am feeling sick or have to miss class?
Students have to occasionally miss class for any number of reasons: health, travel, work, etc. Teachers and classmates should be helpful in summarizing what was missed; although it is the student’s responsibility to request that information. Missing 1 or 2 classes shouldn’t negatively impact your class experience too much. Please contact your teacher to let them know if you know you’re going to miss class, so they are aware and can plan accordingly. Students who miss a significant number of classes may need to repeat the class in order to advance to the next level.





COVID-19 Update: It is critical that anyone involved in classes who is not feeling well (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) stays home to keep our students, teachers, and staff safe and healthy. If you arrive at class and are notably sick or unwell, the teacher may ask you to go home. In order to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, and generally keep our community healthy, Arcade is happy to transfer a class registration to the following or future term if a student is unable to continue with class due to medical reasons. See more under “refund policy.”

What is your payment and refund policy?

Arcade classes are generally non-refundable and non-transferable. However, in order to help keep our community safe and healthy, Arcade is happy to transfer a class registration to the following or future term if a student is unable to continue with class due to medical reasons. Some exclusions may apply, and placement in a future class may depend on availability that term. We will do our best to accommodate every student. Please contact the Academy Director for more information.

I have more questions, what should I do?
Email our Academy Director, Robin Hitchcock, with your specific question and she’ll get back to you right away.
Do you offer kid or teen classes?


Arcade currently offers occasional workshops and camps for kids and teens and plans to offer more youth education opportunities in the future. We also proudly partner with the Learning Disabilities Association of Pennsylvania to offer afterschool improv lessons at Provident Charter School. If you would like to learn more about youth classes, or if you are involved with a school or community organization that would like to partner with us for afterschool improv lessons, please contact our Academy Director for more information.

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