What is the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB)?

The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) is a theater and school designed to train both dabblers and devotees in the foundations of comedy (including improv, sketch, stand-up, characters, and more.) Originally founded on the techniques of improvisation, UCB continues to evolve its offerings and programming to better address the varied needs of artists today.

 

Does UCB have any scholarship opportunities?

We’re glad you asked! We’ve just launched the UCB Diversity Scholarship Program to provide ongoing support to UCB students of diverse and/or marginalized backgrounds.

This program is separate from previous scholarship opportunities at UCB such as the 2022 SNL Scholarship. All previous scholarship recipients are encouraged to apply to the Diversity Scholarship Program or to reach out to [email protected] for further assistance.

If you have individual financial needs beyond those outlined in the UCB Diversity Scholarship Program, please reach out to [email protected] for further assistance.

 

What’s an Intensive vs. A workshop vs. A numbered class (101-401)?

If you see a Numbered Course, that is part of our core comedy program: Improv, Sketch, and Character. They are numbered because those curricula are built on a progression and are intended to be taken in order. We encourage all our students to complete the core program because of the building block nature of the curriculum, with each course building on the lessons from the previous course.

If a course is not numbered, it is an Elective or Advanced Study course that is stand-alone and not progressive. Those courses are meant to enhance your study at UCB by either learning a new or adjacent skill or mastering an improv form like the Harold or other long forms. These classes tend to be more experimental with the instructor using techniques they specialize in or want to explore with the class. Their intent is to build off what students already know and challenge them in exploring parts of the artform they are interested in and/or want to get better at.

We also offer shorter Workshops; typically one or two three-hour sessions that focus on a specific skill set from the Core program for more practice or a knowledge-oriented focus on an aspect of the business of comedy.

Typically, all of our core classes (Improv 101-401, Sketch 101-301, Character 101 & 201) are 8 three-hour sessions over 8 weeks. But we do offer Intensive versions so that the course can be completed in a shorter time frame. You may see Improv 101s and 201s listed as two week (4 sessions a week) or one month (2 sessions a week) formats. Occasionally we offer higher levels of Improv as intensives as well, but because of the complexity of the work, we’re more likely to offer those as two month courses.

 

What exactly are “sketch” and “improv?”

“Improv” consists of improvised scenes, without scripts, that are created and performed live on their feet by the improvisers. Our curriculum builds up to scene work through exercises and games that center around listening, performing, character-building, and comedy.

“Sketches” are short, scripted comedic scenes that explore a central comedic idea, like what you see on SNL. Sketch classes focus on learning the structure of these scenes, generating ideas, writing your own sketches, and giving/receiving feedback.

To see these forms in action, we encourage you to check out a sketch or improv show in person! You can visit our show calendar here: http://ucbcomedy.com/shows/

 

Where can I find information about the class I just enrolled in?

You’ll receive a confirmation email and a Google classroom invitation.

 

Trying to redeem a discount code or voucher?

To redeem a voucher, enter your voucher code under the “Payment Details” section in the “Checkout” page. Make sure to hit apply and your balance should be reflected in the amount. You can redeem multiple vouchers as long as you hit “apply” after each code. Please note that vouchers only work with the email address they were assigned to.

To redeem a discount code (flash sales, special promotions), simply put the code in the “Discount Code” line and hit apply. Multiple discount codes can not be combined.

You are more than welcome to use both a discount code and voucher(s) at the same time. If you are having any trouble redeeming a code, contact us at [email protected]

 

How will I know if my class is canceled or delayed?

UCB’s school and theater observe the following holidays: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Independence Day (July 4), Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

If your class is delayed or canceled, you’ll receive an email from [email protected]

 

Missing your Google Classroom invitation?

Google classroom only accepts @gmail email accounts. If you do not already have a gmail account, please create a gmail account to use for class and try again.

 

Need to switch to another class?

For scheduling conflicts, students are able to transfer classes by themselves through the class portal up to 7 days before the first class. If an issue arises where you need to transfer classes after the 7 day window has passed, please email [email protected] to discuss options. (Please know which class you’d like to transfer to.) Once a class has begun, students are no longer eligible to transfer.”

 

Interested in “skipping” a 101 or 201?

Only students who have taken classes with the Squirrel theater, Pit theater, Magnet theater, or iO are eligible to bypass Improv 101. That said, we do not allow students to skip 201 since this is where UCB’s unique perspective on improv and the Harold is honed. These concepts are covered in the UCB Comedy Improvisation Manual. If you’d like to inquire about skipping Improv 101 or if you have further questions, email us at [email protected].

 

What is the class attendance policy?

Students are allowed to miss up to two classes per 8-week session to remain eligible for completion. Class shows do not count towards your allotted two absences.

 

Do you offer makeup classes?

While we do not offer makeup classes at this time, we can connect you with our Academic Director, Johnny Meeks, to discuss any concepts you may have missed during your absence.

 

Can I audit a class?

Since a lot of our program revolves around building trust with classmates, we do not allow prospective students to audit our classes. That said, we do offer free Improv 101 Drop-Ins which cover most of the concepts of the first day of an Improv 101 class. This will help you determine if Improv is something that you’d be interested in!

 

Can’t find your class grades?

Grades will be posted within 2 weeks of the end of every class. If you have not received a grade for your course, please reach out to your teacher directly.

 

Where are my old grades?

Last year, we integrated a new software for registration. As we migrate to a new Training Center system, we are working to integrate your old records into the new account. That being said, this change won’t be reflected for a little while. Until then, we have all of your grades stored safely on the back end and can access that information on your behalf.

 

When/Why did the price of class shows change?

As we anticipate opening our new New York theater and more New York training center classrooms in early 2024, allowing our program to grow even further, we will be returning to the pre-pandemic practice of charging for class shows at $5 for guests. Students will continue to be able to see class shows for free. This fee will help cover the cost of event staff and other facility related expenses

 

Are you a student interested in seeing shows at UCB for free?

Please read our Student Ticket Policy to learn how all students can see shows for free.

 

How do you get on a UCB stage?

For House Team auditions, please refer to our Auditions Page.

For information on how to pitch a show at UCB, please refer to our Pitch a Show pages for New York and Los Angeles.

 

Interested in working at UCB?

Check out http://ucbcomedy.com/careers/ for current openings.

 

Are there any work-study opportunities?

We no longer have a work-study program at UCB – we’ve chosen to pay fair wages to our co-workers instead. However, we do offer employee discounts on classes for part-time coworkers. You can check out http://ucbcomedy.com/careers/ for current openings.

 

What is UCB’s Referral Program?

You can refer a friend to UCB and get $50 OFF your next class! Here’s how it works: When the person you referred is registering, they will see a referral box in the “Shopping Cart” section of the checkout screen, all they have to do is enter your name and register for the class. Once we verify that they have not previously taken a UCB class, we will set you up with a $50 voucher redeemable for any class you want to take! Simple as that.

 

How are UCB teachers trained?

UCB teachers are hired after an interview and training process which includes foundational comedy training, proven mentorship tactics and key DEI concepts, including unconscious bias and microaggressions. After an initial interview process, selected applicants are moved into an Instructor Assistant program where they are paired with an experienced Mentor Instructor. Instructor Assistants work alongside their mentors to learn the job hands-on, through leading exercises and giving notes. At the end of the training program, Instructor Assistants teach their own one-off session that is observed by the Academic Committee. If the Instructor Assistant is ready, they are offered a full instructor role and put into the teaching pool.

 

How can I become a teacher at UCB?

Qualified applicants can apply through our careers page here: http://ucbcomedy.com/careers/