Camps let kids stand up for comedy

If you think your son or daughter is the next Chris Farley or Tina Fey, they can get training in the same place that shot those actors to fame. Second City’s youth training center lets kids learn improvisation techniques in either ongoing classes or summer camps.

This year’s summer camps are expected to draw more than 500 students, ages 11-18, from around the world, says Kerry Sheehan, president of the training center. The two-week camps (which are not overnight), offer training in improv and sketch comedy, with additional classes offered in clowning, video and stand-up comedy.

“What we’re doing in the camp is giving kids a condensed experience with the Second City process that our actors go through to create a revue,” Sheehan says. No experience is required and performance is a major component.

“On Thursday and Friday of the second week, they’re rehearsing for their show, which culminates on Friday with a stage performance on Second City’s main stage with the full lights and music,” Sheehan says.

Ongoing classes in improvisation, video, stand-up comedy, sketch comedy and musical theater are offered for kids, ages 4-18. Camps cost $650-$800 for two weeks. The ongoing class price varies. For more information, visit or call (312) 664-3959.

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