Upright Citizens Brigade Improvisation and Sketch Comedy Training Center

Frequently Asked

How do I sign up for a Course?
Here's a list of all courses currently available. There are two ways to sign up. You can register on-line and pay for the course via PayPal using credit card, debit card or checking account. You can also register and pay in person at our Training Center with cash, check or money order.
The class I want is sold out. Can I get on a waiting list?
We can't maintain waiting lists at this time. Sorry! If a student withdraws from a course before it begins, that spot will be made available online. Keep checking the list of all courses currently available
When do you announce new courses?
New courses go online all the time. (We do not have semesters, so our classes operate on a rolling basis).
How much do courses cost?
Tuition typically is $400 for courses that are 8 classes long.
Which Improv level should I start in?
We recommend that you start in Improv 101, regardless of your past experience. UCBT Long Form Training begins with Improv 101, and our philosophy, curriculum and terminology are different from other improv and acting schools. If you'd like to ask about any exceptions to this, you can email the Training Center manager with information about your background in comedy. Only students who have received special permission from the Training Center manager may start in Improv 201.
Do I need to buy the Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual?
If you registered for an Improv 101 class after February 3, 2014 you are required to acquire the Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual for your Improv 101 class. To get credit for this class bring your copy of the book to class by session 2.
The Manual can be purchased for non-refundable $25 at UCB Theatre, UCB Training Center, ucbstore.com or Amazon.com.
Which Sketch level should I start in?
Sketch 101. Each level of our sketch program builds upon the previous level. So it is important to take them in order and from the beginning.
How often do courses meet?
Courses typically meet for 3 hours, once a week for 8 weeks. Some courses meet twice a week for 4 weeks, and we also have intensive courses that meet every weekday for one or two weeks.
Where are courses held?
The UCB Training Center is located at 145 West 30th Street. 99 percent of our courses are held at this facility.
Will I get to perform?
Improv Course levels 101-301 all have a graduation show that takes place at our Theatre at the end of the course. Level 401 & 501 have two performances, and our 600 level improv courses get a 4 week run at the Theatre. For sketch courses, depending on the level, there are opportunities to perform, but sketch students are not required to perform if they do not want to.
Who teaches the courses?
The bulk of the courses are taught by performers who have been through the UCB Training Program and with our theatre for several years. Many were trained by the UCB, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Amy Poehler. We also offer courses with other professional comedy writers and performers that have not been through the UCB Training Program, but have the necessary experience from working in the comedy world.
Do you allow auditing?
No. To maintain course integrity, we do not allow auditing. Only students who have registered and paid will be allowed to attend. Student guests or auditors are not allowed. Prospective students are encouraged to attend Harold Night or Graduation Shows for a sense of the UCB Training Center's philosophy and style
I have zero experience. Will I be okay?
Yes! Do it up! Our program is built for all walks of life and you will not be lost in class. Our teachers are trained to make every student feel welcome and comfortable no matter what their past experience in Improv or Sketch might be.
Do you allow Make-ups?
Improv courses 101-301 have opportunities for make-ups. Students are allowed to schedule a maximum of two make-ups per course. Make-ups are not mandatory and they are also not guaranteed. We do NOT offer make-ups for Sketch classes.
Do you offer Summer Intensives?
We offer improv intensive courses all year round. These courses are anywhere from one to two weeks long. Announcement of summer dates will begin in mid/late March.
Do you have payment plans?
No. You must pay the full tuition when you register for a course. Your spot in the course is not secure until payment is received.
Do you offer Internships?
For information about our internships please email the internship coordinator per the designated departments:
UCB Theatre & UCB Theatre East Village: Claire Gilbertsen ([email protected]).
UCB Office, Training Center & Touring Company: Herson Castillo ([email protected]).
What is a Harold?
The Harold is the original long form structure developed by Del Close and outlined his book, Truth in Comedy, written with Charna Halpern. To perform a Harold, a team takes a single suggestion from the audience, spins the suggestion into a set of ideas through an opening which then inspires a number of scenes and group games. Characters, ideas and games return throughout the Harold and eventually connect. The best way to be introduced to Harold is to come to Harold Night, Tuesdays at our theatre and see our house teams perform it.
How do I get on a Harold team?
The artistic director of the theatre selects performers for our house Harold teams based on teacher recommendations and occasional auditions. It should be stressed that only a small percentage of students ever make it on to a Harold team. It takes skill, talent, a lot of dedication and time to become a performer at the UCB Theatre.
How do I apply for a 600 level performance course?
If a student wants to take a 600 level course, all they have to do is send an email to the Training Center Manager before the application deadline for a particular course. The Training Center Manager then draws up a list of prospective students and solicits recommendations from your past instructors. The recommendations are given to course teacher who then casts the students for the particular course. Occasionally, teachers have used other methods including auditions to select students.
I still have questions, is there someone I can talk to?
You may contact our Training Center Manager via email, [email protected] or phone, 212.929.8107.