NY Training Center FAQ


Questions/Comments about the NY Class Program

NY Training Center FAQ

Postby patbaer » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:53 pm

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?

We tend to announce new courses on Wednesday evenings and post them online immediately. Classes usually start 6-8 weeks after they're posted. The best way to stay up to date is to bookmark our full list of currently available courses.

How much do courses cost?

Tuition typically is $350 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.

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 our coordinator Rachael Mason (rachael@ucbt.net).

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, classes@ucbt.net or phone, 212.929.8107.
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Re: NY Training Center FAQ

Postby tanouye » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:50 pm

I applied for an Improv 501 class. I was told it was sold out, and it said that on the website. Now it says "Request Permission" again. Should I request permission again? Are there new slots in the class?

If you have already applied for the class and received a response, you do not need to do so again. If a class is sold out, but somebody drops out before it starts, their slot will be offered one at a time to the next eligible student in the order that they applied. When that slot is made available to somebody, the class status changes from "Sold Out" to "Request Permission" because of how our computer program is set-up. Once that new student has registered, the class will revert to "Sold Out" status. If you are the next eligible student for an open slot, the registrar will contact you and provide a link for you to register.
Erik Tanouye
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(also Improv/Sketch teacher and performer)
UCB Training Center
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New York, New York 10018
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Re: NY Training Center FAQ

Postby tanouye » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:32 pm

When do practice sessions go online?

Practice sessions do not go online at any fixed schedule. Sorry!
Erik Tanouye
School Manager
(also Improv/Sketch teacher and performer)
UCB Training Center
520 Eighth Ave, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10018
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Re: NY Training Center FAQ

Postby tanouye » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:00 pm

We now announce classes a day or so in advance, sometimes longer if we know ahead of time. So you should check this message board on Tuesday nights to see what classes will be going online Wednesday.

For Advanced Study courses, please check on Fridays to see if any new courses will be going online.
Erik Tanouye
School Manager
(also Improv/Sketch teacher and performer)
UCB Training Center
520 Eighth Ave, 9th Floor
New York, New York 10018
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Re: NY Training Center FAQ

Postby anne3 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:17 am

I am interested in a summer intensive 101 and then 201 immediately after. When they do go on-line, will I be able to sign up for the 201 course when it is listed, even if I haven't yet completed the 101 course? I was hoping to learn the two courses in a 3 week span. Are the courses offered this way?
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