Arcade Academy

We've got more courses than a Thanksgiving dinner!

2014 Session Schedule:

Session 1: January 5 — March 1
Session 2: March 9 – May 10
Session 3: May 18 – July 26
Session 4: August 3 – October 4
Session 5: October 12 – December 13

Here’s what you need to know:

Arcade Academy sessions generally run eight-weeks. For a complete list of course descriptions (for this term, and future sessions), check out our Courses page. Session 4′s classes are Improv One, Improv Two, Improv Three, and Stand-Up Comedy. We’re also offering TWO brand new classes: sketch comedy and a 4-week Improv Scenes intensive in August.

If you’d like to register for a class, just click Register Online you’ll be taken to our Square online store. It’s a fast & secure way to register for classes online with your credit card.

The Arcade is also accepting a limited number of interns. If you’d like to take a course for free or half price while also working at the theater on the weekends, please visit the Internship page and fill out the form. Please note that there is a limited number of full and partial internships available, and that you’ll still need to be confirmed by our staff before being able to take the class. Don’t worry, it’s painless.

We ask that everyone be paid in full before the start of the first classes, which start the week of August 3.

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!

Improv One: The Basics

Group A: Thursdays 6:30pm – 9:30pm @ The 707 Academy
Group B: TBA

This eight-week, three-hour class taught by Second City alum Kristy Nolen is open to everyone and appropriate for all levels of improv experience.Whether you are completely new to improvisation, or are a seasoned performer who wants to get back to basics, this class is for you. Students will learn: “Yes And” (agreement and extension), group mind, give and take, and basic environment and object work in a supportive, playful environment. The class culminates with a 30-minute “work-in-progress” showcase on the eighth week.
No prerequisites | Registration $200

Register Online


Improv Two: Short Form


Mondays 7pm – 10pm @ The 707 Academy

Building on previous concepts, IMPROV TWO focuses on short form improv. We’ll be delving into a variety of different performance games including: character-based games, option games, scenic games and story-telling games, concluding with the mechanics of putting the pieces together for a successful performance. Invite friends and family to a 45-minute show of improv games for our final week. Prerequisite: Improv One or a first-level improv class | Class offered in Sessions 1 – 5 | Registration $200 Register Online


Scene Work Intensive: Building Scenes With Honesty


Wednesdays (4 weeks) 7pm – 9:30pm @ The 707 Academy

This four-week, 3-hour scene work intensive taught by Travis Koury will focus on creating scenes with solid foundations. Honest choices at the tops of scenes will help players create dynamic characters and premises by tapping into their natural instincts. In this intensive players will hone their skills in character development, finding the game and harnessing emotions. Individual notes will be a focal point throughout each week. Class culminates with a student show at Arcade’s Bonus Stage on a Sunday night. This intensive is designed for pupils with a basic level of improv knowledge and practice. Prerequisite: Improv One or a first-level improv class | Class runs August 6-August 27 | Taught by Travis Khoury | Reigstration $100 Register Online

Intro to Stand-Up Comedy

Tuesdays 7pm – 9:30pm @ Arcade Comedy Theater

This stand-up class will provide you with lots of ideas, exercises and techniques to help develop your writing, performing and critique of your own unique stage performance. Not everyone is a ‘Late Show’ jokester, not every one is a loud, charismatic performer, some of you are story tellers – we’ll find out what best suits you on stage and in your writing process. You won’t learn how to write jokes for your cousin’s wedding, be the life of the party or make business presentations hilarious – but we can discover how YOU can be funny on stage and create a stand-up performance from your own personality and experiences, whether you’re pursuing stand-up comedy as a hobby or as a career.
Prerequisite: None | Taught by Aaron Kleiber | Registration $200 (only partial-internships available) 

Register Online

Intro to Sketch Writing

Tuesdays 7pm – 9:30pm @ The 707 Academy

This class will focus on the very basics of sketch writing, including idea generation, brainstorming, comic premises and sketch structure. Whether you’re a beginning writer, a seasoned writer looking to learn a new form, or just want to refocus your writing in an encouraging, collaborative atmosphere, this class is for you. Through class exercises and assignments, students will learn to write comedy sketches from beginning to end. A notebook is required, because to learn to write, you have to write.
No prerequisite | Taught by Larry Phillis | Registration $200 (only partial-internships available)

Register Online

Improv Three: Long Form

Offered Next Term

In IMPROV THREE, the spotlight is on scene work, the building block of long form improv. Students will be exploring: dialogue, heightening, status, emotion, edits and delving deeper into object work and character, performing montages and “The Harold”. Staying truthful and reacting honestly is emphasized. IMPROV THREE’s long form improvised class show will be featured during the Arcade’s Sunday Night Bonus Stage, a show open to the public.

Prerequisite: Improv One & Two.