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Learning and Fun at TOsketchfest20

Who ever said learning can be fun has obviously been to TOsketchfest before. Learning and Fun is the Professional Development program for the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival – chock full of stimulating, comfortable and informative workshops and panels. Whether you are a Festival performer, an emerging comedian, or you are just starting to write and perform sketch comedy there is something for you in the Learning and Fun Program.

These low cost learning opportunities put you front and centre with comedians and writers featured on CBC, Netflix, and Crave, and from facilitators and directors from The Second City.

Thank you to our program sponsor The Second City Training Centre and our Industry Sponsor Don Ferguson Productions for supporting the Learning and Fun Program.

2020 Learning and Fun Workshops

So, Your Show Got Cancelled: Workshop
Saturday March 7 at 2pm
Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West)

You made a pitch package, it was accepted and picked up by a network, and you made a show! Then it got cancelled.
Join Andy Bush (Cavendish, Roller Town, Gemini Award winner) and Mark Little (Cavendish, Mr. D, Conan) to discuss what happens after your show gets cancelled – pitch again.
Learn the steps about how to get a pitch meeting (or another pitch meeting), what to expect when you walk in the room of executives, and how to accept and apply constructive criticism. Learn what needs to be included in your package, and how to do those micro and macro edits to your script that might make all of the difference! Walk away feeling inspired to get YOUR pitch package together! This workshop ‘Pitching for TV’ sold out last year!

Prerequisite: Prior sketch writing experience suggested
Cost: $20 / Pre-Registration Is Required

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International Women’s Day Brunch
Sunday March 8 at 11am
Death & Taxes Free House (1154 Queen Street West)

Celebrate International Women’s Day with some amazing women leaders in the comedy industry.
Women comedy writers, producers and performers give keynote addresses about female influences in their comedy career. Guests include Robin Duke, Evany Rosen, Anasimone George, Tricia Black, Paloma Nuñez, and Alice Rose.
Event registration includes hot buffet breakfast and one mimosa or non alcoholic drink
Cost: $25 / Pre-Registration Is Required

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Disability in Comedy
Sunday, March 8 1:30-3pm
Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West

Film critic and lecturer Angelo Muredda discusses disability in comedy on film.  Take an in depth look of how disability has been exploited in comedic films. Discuss how these tropes and themes have impacted how disabled characters are viewed today.   
This is a great lecture and discussion for anyone who is a fan of comedy and anyone who writes and creates comedic content. 
COST: FREE / Pre-Registration Appreciated

One On One Director Session with Rob Baker
Thursday March 12 at 1:30-4:30pm
Theatre Centre – Franco Boni Theatre
(1115 Queen Street West)

Is your troupe preparing for a showcase or festival? Or do you have a sketch that’s craving a little feedback?. Get one on one in the moment feedback on your sketches from Director Rob Baker (The Second City, Workin’ Moms, and Tonight’s Cancelled). Use this session to strengthen your scene structure, highlight your unique P.O.V, play around with genre or elevate the funny! Each troupe gets booked for a 30 minute session. Come prepared to showcase at least one sketch.

Prerequisite: Must have a sketch prepared to perform
Cost: $20 Per Troupe / 30 Minute Session / Pre-Registration Required

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The Second City Training Centre, 99 Blue Jays Way

Dive into the world of creating sketch comedy through improvisation, writing and and other tangible methods of content creation. In this workshop explore types of scenes, solo content versus how to work with a partner, and sketch revue building.
Taught by Christian Smith (The Second City, Soul Decision)
Prerequisite: Some improv / performance experience an asset

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IBPOC Comedy Writing Workshop with Nelu Handa
Sunday, March 15, 1-3pm
Theatre Centre – Incubator
(1115 Queen Street West)

Get inspired to write sketch comedy!
This is a FREE workshop for IBPOC comedians and those wanting to try writing comedy. Learn how to confidently share your ideas, collaborate with others and find the humour in your real life stories.
Participants also receive one free ticket to see a #TOsketchfest20 show of their choice (based on availability).
Prerequisite: an interest in exploring your comedic voice
COST: FREE / Pre-Registration Appreciated

Directors Panel: Presented By The Second City
Saturday March 14 at 4pm
The Second City Training Centre
(99 Blue Jays Way, 3rd Floor)

The Second City Toronto recently launched their Directors Program! If you’re curious about directing this moderated discussion will pick the brains of some of The Second City’s celebrated directors including Kirsten Rasmussen, Shari Hollett, Carly Heffernan, Stacey McGunnigle and more.
Topics to be discussed: casting, theme development, giving notes, being a head writer and editor, working with designers, and managing team dynamics of the cast. Come prepared with your questions, and be ready to take notes!
Cost: $12 / Pre-Registration Required

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All Workshop Pass
Tickets: $40 (+HST and fees)
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All Learning and Fun workshops and panels are included in the Workshop Pass, and includes advance booking. Our workshops and panels have a strong focus on comedy skill building, collaboration and cultivating professional relationships.

Scholarships are available and the application is available here


Please note: some workshops require prerequisite of at least one year of comedy training and/or performance.