Arcade Academy

Learn comedy, have some funny.

Workshops

Arcade Comedy Theater offers workshops for beginner and advanced improvisers on a variety of subjects, inspiring performers to continue their education and approach the art of improv from different directions. Workshops have been taught by nationally-known improvisers and instructors, including Kevin McDonald, Laura Hall, Rick Hall, Jimmy Carrane, Paul Grondy, Maribeth Monroe, Jaime Moyer, Rob Belushi, Tim Stoltenberg, Susan Messing, Rachel Mason and more.

 

Workshop Schedule

  • September 14: Anna Bennet improv workshop
  • September 28: Eddie Brill stand-up workshop
  • October 12 & 13: Kevin McDonald sketch writing workshops
  • Every Third Thursday: Improv Pop-Up Night

SEPTEMBER WORKSHOPS

ANNA BENNETT

Improv Workshop: Creating Character Through Movement

In this workshop designed for comedy improvisers, participants will experiment with movement exercises designed to mold and inspire the creation of unique characters. We’ll dip into techniques and vocabularies used by dancers and choreographers to discover new approaches to character creation. There will be games, there will be silliness, and you *might* be sore the next day. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

This workshop is appropriate for all levels of improv experience.

Saturday, Sept 14

Registration is $20
Workshop is from 3PM til 5PM
18+

About Anna Bennett

Anna Bennett is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist with an emphasis in dance and improvisation. Bennett has most recently performed with in Tulsa, Oklahoma with ensembles Portico Dance Theatre and Crayons Improv. Her independent works through Bent Antenna Productions have also appeared in the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, garnering awards for Best Actress (“Confessions of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl,” 2016) and Best Show Runner-Up (“Triage,” 2017). For more about Bennett’s work: annabennettcreates.com // @annabennettcrea

EDDIE BRILL

Stand-Up Comedy Workshop

Arcade Academy is proud to present comedian and teaching artist Eddie Brill, who will be leading a one-day stand up comedy workshop! Open to comedians of every level, and includes a ticket to one of Eddie’s headlining shows at the theater that weekend.

Each workshop participant receives individual coaching on the spot from Eddie, as well as from fellow classmates, allowing for a unique student-teacher perspective in the process of building a firm foundation for you to easily understand how to truly be yourself on stage.

This is a rare opportunity for comics to be completely honest with themselves and each other — it’s a chance to focus on the craft and leave egos at the door. The class size is limited, allowing everyone to get the most out of their day-long session with this veteran of comedy.

Saturday, Sept 28

Registration is $150
Workshop is from 10:30AM til 5PM (with a break for lunch)
18+

Praise for the class:

“Eddie’s class is well worth it just to hear the stories he’s accumulated over his long career. On top of that, you’ll get advice on your set you didn’t know you needed. I looked at my material, stage presence, and performance in a whole new way after taking this class. I’d recommend it to anyone serious about becoming a better comedian.” – Collin Chamberlin, comedian

About Eddie Brill

Eddie Brill is a well respected and very funny stand up here in the USA and abroad. For seventeen years, he worked on The Late Show with David Letterman. He was the audience warm-up and for eleven of those years he was the Stand Up Comedy Talent Coordinator. Eddie has taped more than 100 TV shows in six different countries…including ten appearances on The Late Show…and the FX hit series, Louie. He has been seen in many films including, 30 Years To Life with Tracy Morgan. A 3-time MAC award winner for Outstanding Male Comic in NYC, Eddie created The Great American Comedy Festival which honors Johnny Carson in his hometown of Norfolk, NE…and is one of the talent coordinators of this year’s premiere Woodstock Comedy Festival as well.

OCTOBER WORKSHOPS

2-Day Sketch Writing Workshop Package

Get 2 full days of sketch writing instruction, hands-on guidance, and direction — all of which culminates in a sketch show on Sunday night at 7PM. Sign up for this 2-day package, which includes both the “Improv to Sketch” and “Premise to Sketch” workshops and you’ll save over $100.

Prerequisite: Students should have completed a prior sketch class or have had at least one year writing/performing sketch experience.

Saturday & Sunday, Oct 12-13

Saturday: 10AM – 5:30PM
Sunday: 10AM – 5:30PM
Sunday Show: 7PM
Registration $250

KEVIN MCDONALD

1-Day Improv-to-Sketch Writing Workshop

Writing good sketches doesn’t have to take days slaving away in a coffee shop. Learn the fast and focused “Kids in the Hall method” of improv-based sketch writing. Work with the legendary Kids in the Hall co-founder Kevin McDonald in this day-long workshop, as he forms groups, runs improv exercises, and helps you hone in on a premise-driven sketch.

This is a hands-on, get-up-and-go workshop that will have you performing, writing, and learning all day long. At the end of the day, you’ll have a brand new sketch that’s ready to be performed, plus tips and lessons to apply in future writing sessions.

Students should plan to bring a notebook, pen, and water bottle. Laptops are optional but encouraged.

Saturday, Oct 12

10AM – 5:30PM
Registration $180

Prerequisite: Students should have completed a prior sketch class or have had at least one year writing/performing sketch experience.

KEVIN MCDONALD

1-Day Premise-to-Sketch Writing Workshop

You’ve got a funny idea for a sketch, but now what? In this day-long workshop, you’ll be developing brand new sketches based on simple premises you’ve come up with. You’ll learn writing tips and strategies for turning your ideas into fully-formed drafts that are hilarious and engaging. Throughout the day, Kevin will be guiding you through a writing and revision process, giving feedback and direction, and creating a sketch show that you’ll perform that evening!

Students will attend a day-long workshop, take a break, and then perform in the 7PM show that evening. At the end of it all, you’ll walk away with finished sketches, and the tools to apply Kevin’s writing methods for future projects.

Students should arrive with 3-5 premises or ideas for sketches, as well as a notebook, pen, water bottle, and laptop. This workshop picks up right where the Saturday workshop leaves off! 

Sunday, Oct 13

10AM – 5:30PM
Registration $180

Prerequisite: Students should have completed a prior sketch class or have had at least one year writing/performing sketch experience.

About Kevin McDonald

Kevin is a founding member of the legendary sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. He hosts a popular sketch comedy podcast, and travels the country teaching the “Kids in the Hall Style” of writing comedy. Kevin is also an accomplished actor (That 70’s Show) and voice actor, best known for his work in the film Lilo & Stich, and the series Invader Zim.

Praise for the workshop:

“If you love sketch writing, you will love this workshop. Kevin McDonald was so enthusiastic and thoughtful in working with us on our sketches and on bringing the show together. It was fun, inspiring, and surreal in the best possible way. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!” — Mindy Cooper, Arcade sketch writing instructor