Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Comedy Writing and Performance, BA

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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:

  • collaborate creatively within a broadly diverse ensemble of writer/performers;
  • generate original comedic material using a variety of methods;
  • conduct and apply research into historic comic styles and archetypes; 
  • produce comic material across a variety of media and for diverse audiences; 
  • revise work based on analysis of comic texts and collaborative feedback;
  • execute clear, thoughtful, and effective comic choices in performance;
  • identify and use voice/persona in comic writing and performance; and
  • use professional and ethical practices in the pursuit of a career in comedy.  

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.

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