Teaching Pittsburgh Comedy for over 10 years!


The Arcade Academy is dedicated to providing quality comedy education in a fun and playful environment. The core curriculum for all of our improv classes follows a clear and simple map — leading you to become the most well-rounded performer you can be! Starting with fundamental classes like Improv 101 (learning “Yes And” and “Game”) and Improv 102 (all about scene work), and then moving on to short form, The Harold, and advanced long form, it’s never been easier to move through our academy.

Each class builds on the previous one, stressing our philosophy of PLAY, TEAM & TRUTH (see below), which is why we ask that all students new to the Arcade start at 101. Once you’ve gone through our intermediate and advanced courses in short and long form improv, then you’ll have the opportunity to start out on an Arcade Student Team and eventually audition for House Teams… there’s a lot to do!

Arcade Comedy Theater has been training improvisers, writers, and stand-up comics since 2013. Whether you’re just looking to have fun and meet people, or you’ve got your sights set on the Arcade mainstage, we’re here to help.

Our Philosophy

We love all kinds of comedy at the Arcade Academy!  One of the things we know best is improv. Our improv training is a broad examination of the many different types and forms of improvisational comedy: short form, long form, musical improv, and everything in between. Arcade Academy’s approach combines the best improv philosophies, (The Second City, iO Theater, Boom Chicago, and Pittsburgh’s own Friday Night Improvs) and synthesizes them into our own unique Arcade Academy philosophy: PLAY, TEAM & TRUTH.


Arcade Academy’s mission is to bring fun and laughter into people’s lives through play. In improv, “the game” is a critical component of the scene. It is the unique or interesting element of a particular scene… a relationship between characters, a pattern of interactions or a strange perspective on the world. Rediscovering, practicing and immersing oneself in merriment will lead you to better game play, better scene work and ultimately better improv. The goal for our students is to once again find play: personally, professionally and artistically. At Arcade Comedy Theater, our students enjoy the opportunity to experiment with and perform improvisational comedy in a safe, fun, enjoyable atmosphere. To us, play is serious business.


Improv is the art of creating something from nothing… together. The Arcade Academy’s curriculum focuses on bringing students together as a team. An appreciation, comprehension and implementation of teamwork is critical for top-notch improv skills… and life skills. At The Arcade, our teachers and coaches value and emphasize collaboration as a crucial principal of our craft. We believe that it is through the elevation of the ensemble that the individual becomes inspired to shine. So join the Arcade Academy’s team today for better improv tomorrow!


Simply put, in comedy, honesty is the best policy. Why? Because when improvisers are honest and open on stage, reacting truthfully to their scene partners and the situation unfolding, it is typically far funnier then any contrived, preplanned comedic situation. Often overheard when audience members react favorably to a character or relationship on stage is the comment “That is so true!” It’s this truth that the Arcade Academy instructors aid their students in achieving. Using constructive feedback and frank direction, we encourage truthful scenes, characters, and emotional responses from our players. Great comedy does not come from sacrificing the reality of a scene for a cheap joke, but in finding the truth in the reality of the moment. And the Arcade Academy will guide you in the right direction. Honest.