Our training program was designed and delivered by Chicago improvisers that hail from iO and Second City, so our training program is rooted in the origins of improv comedy, from the source. We perform what is known as "Chicago Style" improv, with a focus on scene work and the moment-to-moment connection of players in a relationship with each other.
Level 1 - improv basics and philosophies, stage presence, overcoming stage fright, achieving the group mind, co-creating, beginning skills/games, and building trust in an ensemble.
Level 2 - Scene-work techniques, initiations, heightening, character work, and relationship building. (CCT level one required first)
Level 3 - Intertwining scenes, callbacks, edits, working more intuitively.
(level 1 & 2 required first)
Level 4 S - the short-form cohort - learning how to do types of short-form games, hosting, composing set lists, and performing in a game-focused show. (level 1,2,3 required first)
Level 4 L - the long-form cohort - creates an intertwining tapestry of scenes and games within a given outline that creates a type of story or alternate version of reality. Emphasis on group mind and connectivity of players. (Level 1,2,3 required first)
Specialty Classes -
Sketch - In this immersive and collaborative class, you will learn various classic sketch comedy structures, from Fish Out of Water to Blackouts. Each week addresses a structure, with weekly writing assignments that are then collaboratively discussed in our "writer's room" for feedback and improvement. The format of the sketches is intended for stage production, though the techniques taught can be applied across mediums for film and television.
Musical Improv - Learn song structures, rhyme technique, and music theater classifications as we marry the joy and exuberance of musical theater with the group mind and intense teamwork of improvisation. Highly performative, a little extra, and intended to let your inner Broadway star out, with an improv twist.
Meisner for Improv - “How is my partner being with me right now?”
Asking yourself this simple question, and allowing your point of view to inform your choices, will help take your improv from good to great. With your attention on your partner, you don’t have the headspace for the self-doubt and second-guessing that often plague even the most experienced improvisers. In this six-week course, we will be applying the principles of the Meisner Technique to long-form improv, giving you practical ways to approach scenes so that you feel a consistent sense of ease, playfulness, freedom, and connection
Keli Semelsberger is the Owner of Charlotte Comedy Theater and a 26-year Chicago Improv Comedy Veteran. She is one of the co-founders of the VAPA Center, the author of “Improv Shaman – The Transformative Journey of Divine Play”, a tribe/team-building specialist, energy medicine practitioner, class V raft guide, and a veteran of the US Army. Her classes are legendary in their life-changing messages and inspired energy. Besides teaching her students, she can be seen on stage with “Residual Effects”, and “That’s What She Said & Keli & Co.”
Stuart has been performing, writing, and teaching improv and sketch comedy since 1997. He completed the training programs of The Second City, Annoyance Theater, and Improv Olympic. In addition to performing with The Second City National Touring Company, and being a founding member of the internationally renowned music improv troupe Baby Wants Candy, Stuart has also performed in New York with the Magnet Theater and the People’s Improv Theater. As a faculty member of The Second City Training Center, he has taught improv from the beginning to conservatory levels, sketch writing, storytelling, music improv, and youth/teen courses.
Kim has been a student and performer of Improv for nearly 10 years. Throughout her professional career, she has instructed and presented on several topics in the academic, corporate, and non-profit arenas. Since completing improv training at the CCT Training Center she has performed short-form and long-form improv for weekend shows, corporate events, and comedy festivals. She is an original member of CCT’s all-female ensemble “That’s What She Said”.
Kim is a wife, mother, financial services professional, and community volunteer who credits improv with helping her navigate life’s uncertainties.
Mandy Butler has been an active improviser in Nashville, Richmond, Atlanta, Savannah, Charlotte, and
Greenville. She is a Featured Performer and Teaching Artist at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company and leads
the improv program at Newberry College, where she is a tenured Associate Professor of Theatre &
Speech and the Director of Performance. She holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Georgia State University and an MFA in Theatre Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mandy has
trained and performed with instructors from the Annoyance Theatre, BATS Improv, Second City, Upright
Citizens Brigade, iO, and Steppenwolf West. She has taught master classes at improv festivals and
studios across the United States, Istanbul, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Mandy specializes in applying the
Meisner Technique to long-form Improvisation and earned her Meisner teacher certification through the
True Acting Institute.