The Bachelor of Arts in Comedy Writing and Performance program is a collaborative partnership between the departments of Theatre, Cinema and Television Arts, and The Second City. It builds on the Theatre Department’s long and successful tradition of teaching Improvisation and Sketch Comedy as part of its Acting sequence, and its successful nine-year partnership with The Second City in creating a semester-long immersion in the study and performance of comedy.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- generate original comic material using a variety of methods, including ensemble improvisation, solo writing, and group collaboration;
- develop a personal voice and point of view as a comic artist;
- develop analytic skills and vocabulary needed to revise their original work based on feedback; and
- develop competencies to translate their work into a variety of media, especially live performance and video.
The skills required to pursue a career in comedy, while intersecting with those of the traditional theatre, also diverge from them in a number of important ways. The comedy marketplace today spans a wide spectrum of media from stage to television to film to internet-based content, within which the traditional roles of producer, director, writer, and performer are fluid. The BA in Comedy Writing and Performance seeks to provide the cross-training necessary for our graduates to successfully navigate this fluidity as they move forward in their careers. And while the program will seek to train professional comedians, the skills built during this training - collaboration, creative risk taking, understanding of personal voice and persona - are applicable to a multitude of careers and disciplines outside of the entertainment industry proper.