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Biweekly, Thursday 12-2, Week 1
space available 

In this fun-filled workshop you will have an opportunity to mine your life experiences to develop your own unique approach to humour. We create a “writing room experience” so participants can help each other develop and refine original jokes. Our textbook is Comedy Writing Secrets3rd Edition by Mark Shatz with Mel Helitzer, Writer’s Digest Books. This book features practical tips on how to structure jokes and each chapter ends with writing exercises to hone your comedy skills.  Each workshop participant chooses a favourite comedian and prepares a short presentation on how that comic got their start in the business, what makes their approach to humour unique and how they get laughs. We use video clips of stand-up performances on YouTube as teaching aids.

At the end of the workshop in March 2021 the group will, if they wish, perform a comedy show of their own material for Academy members. No memorization for this course is required –participants can write their jokes on index cards if they wish.


Ian Darragh ( and Priscilla Platt 

Ian Darragh and Priscilla Platt completed two years of the Academy’s Stand-Up Comedy workshop facilitated by Michael Cole. Ian has taught writing at Ryerson University, George Brown College, Carleton University and Algonquin College. Priscilla studied stand-up comedy at Second City and performed at Absolute Comedy.

Workshop Notes:

to follow