Arcade Academy



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, Chris Trew, Tami Nelson, and more.


Take Two: Belushi

Take two workshops & save

Sign up for Rob Belushi’s workshop in the morning, and Sheldon’s duo workshop in the afternoon and save! Get both workshops for just $80 at the early bird rate. Sale ends at 12am on February 6.


Take Two: Stoltenberg

Take two workshops & save

Sign up for Tim Stoltenberg’s workshop in the morning, and Sheldon’s duo workshop in the afternoon and save! Get both workshops for just $80 at the early bird rate. Sale ends at 12am on February 6.


Getting Interesting: Giving your scene believability and resonance with Rob Belushi

Saturday, February 11 10AM-1:00PM

When we think of improvisation our instinct is always, “make it funny.” However, this goal most often has the opposite effect. Approaching a scene as a mine for bits, or a pedestal for laughs can often alienate our partners and more importantly, the audience. Most of the comedies that we really love we find funny because we enjoy seeing people in believable situations behaving in ways we can relate to. This requires creating a world of emotions and relationships and trusting that if we are truly listening and in the moment, people will recognize it and laugh. And they do. Of course there is room for fun in all shows, but the show becomes more memorable if it is full of scenes about something and showcase us as artists with thought and not a bunch of comedians out there desperate for laughs. Rob Belushi will teach a workshop based on building a more mature scene, with substance, to leave our audiences impressed by what we can say when we are authentic. When we do this, we have almost infinite room to let the scene detour into vampire fart bits, and still have the audience come along for the ride.

Location: 811 Liberty Ave  |  Price: $40-50


Break the Pattern, Build the World with Tim Stoltenberg

Saturday, February 11 10AM-1:00PM

Too often we fall into the pattern of doing scenes, in the same neutral spaces–conversations taking place center stage. Our shows become variations of a similar picture: people standing trying to sound smart or funny. When we go out with only the intention of connecting to our partner and playing with solely what is in front of us, we can limit ourselves and what we build for the audience. In this workshop, Tim will focus on activating our decision making instincts to simultaneously engage our partner and build the world around us on stage with physicality, variety and spacework. Using the entirety of the stage can help the performer gain confidence and control in creating their environment. Incorporating physicality and specifics into the scene outside of the relationship can generate deeper development of the relationship on stage. And we must be able to create different and lasting images for our audience so that we can stay ahead of them and keep them coming back. We will work on opening up the stage and the world that we create so that we can have more fun together and surprise ourselves.

Location: 820 Liberty Ave  |  Price: $40-50


Two-Person: Building a world onto yourself and another with Sheldon

Saturday, February 11 2PM-5PM

Our first experiences in improvisation are in a group setting—in classes, on teams, at a jam. We learn about support and give and take and saying yes to ideas that may be a departure from our expectation. It can be liberating, but it can also be a lot to juggle. Sometimes a smaller group or a duo is a great way to develop faster. We must take leadership in all aspects on stage, while at the same time more urgently depend on our partner. It is a big risk, but often the most fun possible—and the best thing to share with someone else. In this workshop, Rob Belushi and Tim Stoltenberg will discuss how they approach their two-person show, and each other, in the simplest and most accessible form. We will discuss variety, energy and trust, how to get the audience on your side, and what to do with them while they’re there. Duos are encouraged to enroll, but also open to singles that can be paired up for the day, or slightly larger groups. We will run through a simple opening, how to best use it, and what to look to do structurally within your given time frame. When it’s just two people there is nowhere to hide, and that can bring out our best work.

Location: 820 Liberty Ave  |  Price: $55-65


About Rob Belushi

Rob Belushi grew up in Chicago and Los Angeles and graduated with honors from Wesleyan University (CT) as well as The School at Steppenwolf (Chicago). Rob is an alum of the Second City Vegas resident company, as well as the Second City National Touring Company, and an Understudy to the Chicago Mainstage. He has taught improv for Second City in Vegas, Chicago and currently in Hollywood, as well as colleges nationwide. AFter working in equity theater houses in Chicago for years, he moved to Los Angeles. Some of his recent TV credits include: Ballers (HBO), Chicago PD (NBC),The Mentalist (CBS) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) How I Met Your Mother (CBS), The Goodwin Games (FOX), Pie Guys (Comedy Central) The Joe Schmo Show (Spike). Film credits include Devil’s Due (20th Century Fox), Heebie Jeebies (SyFy), Valentine’s Day (Warner Bros), Thunderstruck (Warner Bros). Rob is one half of the two-man improv duo, SHELDON, who have headlined comedy festivals nationwide as well as appeared at the Comedy Central Showcase Stage in Hollywood. You may have seen him with Peyton and Eli Manning and JJ Watt and Cam Newton, refusing to sell Gatorade to people that aren’t sweating.

About Tim Stoltenberg

Tim Stoltenberg (AEA/SAG/AFTRA) currently resides in Los Angeles, but is originally from Wisconsin. After graduating from St. Norbert College in 2001 Tim went to tour with The Academy Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. While in Atlanta Tim worked with The Center for Puppetry Arts, The Alliance, Laughing Matters, Agatha’s Dinner Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, and Dad’s Garage Theatre. At Dad’s Garage Tim was the Improv Director for 4 years where we helped to create original plays, improv formats, teach improv classes and Corporate Training workshops.

In 2009 Tim moved to Chicago where he toured with The Second City and did other co-productions with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and The Goodman Theatre. In Chicago Tim taught improv at Second City and performed with The Improvised Shakespeare Company and numerous improv groups at the iO Theatre. Tim was seen on such shows as: Sirens, Chicago Fire, and The Onion (web series.) Tim was also seen in commercials for AT&T, T-Mobile, and the Ohio Lottery.

Tim moved to Los Angeles where he continues to perform and teach at The Second City, as well as teaching a commercial improv workshop with Lawless Casting. Tim has been seen in commercials for Southwest Airlines, Comcast, and Dollar Shave Club. Tim continues to travel performing improv, storytelling, and stand up.

Short Form Workshop with Off the Cuff

Saturday, February 18 2PM-5PM

DC based, improv group Off The Cuff is headed back to the Arcade on February 18th. Cuff co-founders Steve Heaton and David Sly will be instructing a limited sized workshop group to perform in front of a live audience, just before OTC’s 8pm show. This workshop is for participants that enjoy a fast-paced learning environment and are excited about the prospect of performing the very same night. The workshop is open to participants with basic improv background preferred. From 2pm to 5pm workshop attendees will focus on game-based (short-form) improvisational skills that translate to any type of unscripted performance. The principles covered will include: Understanding scene dynamics, presenting memorable characters, word association skills and application, and reviewing the core competencies of an improv performer. Short-form games are used in this workshop as a shortcut to highlighting the specific skills being covered, and those games will be used for the performance that evening.

Location: 820 Liberty Ave  |  Price: $40


About David Sly & Steve Heaton

Instructors David Sly and Steve Heaton have been teaching their brand of fast paced, off beat improvisation since 2002. Their curriculum focuses on key behaviors needed for success in any format of unscripted performance. OTC has taught hundreds of various types of students, from college campuses to Fortune 500 companies, the ability to create faster and make the best out of decisions that are made.