Why not?
Next question.

OK, in all seriousness, because you'll have the most fun. You have A LOT of options when it comes to studying comedy in Chicago. It can get time-consuming and most importantly, it can be very expensive.  At Malarkey we strive to offer you the best teachers and the best curriculum at the fairest price. We like to be transparent about where your funds are going and we want to ensure you are getting what you WANT out of it, not what you think you NEED. You'll notice a lot of our teachers teach at all the other places too - we get around. Our teachers are members of the Malarkey Main Stage, but also places like Baby Wants Candy, Whirled News Tonight, Anarchy, Second City stages, iO stages, etc - heard of 'em?

Our commitment to you:
  • Classes will never be over $300 - the ones that are $300 are that price because we are paying a teacher AND a music director.
  • You do not need to take multiple levels over the course of a year to be hired - very often we pull people out of a class to place on a House Team.
  • You will never have a class longer than 2 hours - longer than that and you're zoned out, especially on a work night - we won't waste a minute of your time.

Take a look at our schedule and find the class that's right for you - and remember to have fun. ;) 
Have more questions? You sure are inquisitive. Hop down to our FAQ and see if that clears it up.


"If you would like to learn to make people laugh...who are we to stop you?"




Jan 4 - Feb 11

Feb 22 - Mar 31

Apr 4 - May 12


APRIL 4 - MAY 11
classes on thursdays, saturdays & sundays

Intro to Short-Form Music Improv


In Intro to Short Form Music Improv you'll learn both the fundamentals of good musical improv AND how to apply it to some of our famous short form games. You'll learn how to use your voice properly, how to structure songs, and the tools you need to be successful playing some of the most popular short form music improv games.




Thursday nights 7-9pm @io theater
instructor: Alex divirgilio

APR 4 - MAY 9


Advanced Short Form Improv

apr 7 - may 11

In Advanced Short Form Improv you'll continue to build upon what you've already learned in Intro to Short Form. You'll learn tougher skills, play harder games and learn how to master a short form improv audition.




SATURDAY AFTERNOONS 3:30-5PM @io theater
instructor: jason geis


Intro to Short-Form Improv

apr 8 - may 12

In Intro to Short Form Improv you'll learn the building blocks of improvisation and then applying those to short form improv games, as seen on Who's Line Is It Anyway, or Wild N Out.




sunday mornings 11am-1pm @io theater
instructor: harz sondericker


apr 8 - may 12

In the ComedySportz Intensive you will learn everything you need to know to be able to audition for and perform IN a ComedySportz match. You'll learn the games, how they're called and how to nail them. You'll also get to show off your skills in a performance.




sunday AFTERNOONS 3:30-5:30pm @io theater
instructor: susan haarman



  1. What are the prerequisites to take your classes?
    For all of our Intro-labeled classes - none. That being said, most likely there will be varying levels of experience in each class. Because a lot of our Intro classes center on short-form improv, you may have classmates who have been doing improv in Chicago for years but have never learned short form and you may also have people in your class that are just starting their improv journey. Any class labeled Advanced will require participation in our Intro level beforehand OR a commensurate program. The ComedySportz Intensive is for those that have finished both Intro and Advanced or have permission from the artistic director to jump ahead.
  2. Do you need to audition?
    Nope. Though for the ComedySportz Intensive we will sometimes place people in this class that HAVE auditioned for us previously.
  3. Short form? You keep saying that.
    There are two distinct types of improv in Chicago - long form and short form. Both are excellent! Long form improv involves a more narrative style of storytelling using (typically) one suggestion to fuel a longer piece (30+ minutes). Short form, as we are sure you've inferred is sort of the opposite. Short form uses improv games to weave together an interactive audience experience. Each game has it's own set of rules and audience needs, so the show is constantly getting input from the audience, and constantly changing. In any one short form show you could see a long scene, a line game where comedians are telling jokes on the spot, or a completely improvised musical - in the same show! If you've seen Who's Line Is It Anyway? or Wild 'N' Out - those are short form. 
  4. Should I study both?
    Yes. Both will make you better overall performers. Very often casting agencies and frankly, paying work will require you to know short form improv and hosting. If you want to get paid to do improv comedy - we recommend learning short form.
  5. Where's my money go?
    It's a great question. We believe in paying our teachers equitably and competitively for their time. So a lot of the money goes back to the teachers. The money also goes toward the maintenance and upkeep of our theater, as well as going back into our general fund that pays things like rent, player pay, marketing, etc. We aren't trying to get rich off students.
  6. Who are your teachers?
    All of our teachers are ensemble members from our main stage - you are working with the people actually DOING the shows.
  7. Do you offer any accommodations for persons with disabilities?
    All of our training spaces are currently wheelchair-accessible, as are our stages and dressing rooms. For more specific disabilities please reach out to us and we will try to accommodate.
  8. Do the classes ever change?
  9. Do you accept applications or pitches for outside teachers or courses?
    No. We do offer workshops with special guest artists, but those are special events and arranged by the artistic director.

If you have more questions, that weren't covered in this EXHAUSTIVE FAQ, then please shoot a note to info@malarkeycomedy.com

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