Train at The Annoyance:
The Annoyance provides excellent quality training in improvisation. Based on Artistic Director and Founder Mick Napier’s book Improvise. Scene From the Inside Out, the Annoyance philosophy focuses on the individual; giving students feedback and support to allow them to find and enhance their personal point of view and creative voice.
Annoyance classes challenge the conventional wisdom of the rules of improvisation, examining what’s behind them and how they came to be in the first place. Simply put, we make you the best improviser YOU can be.
All of our teachers are ensemble members who have learned and performed with The Annoyance, and thus have first hand experience with the way we approach improvisation.
5-day course - 6 hours per day
The Annoyance Training Center teaches students how to develop and maintain a strong individual voice in their improvisation. These intensives will address the initiation of a scene; developing and maintaining strong characters; learning to hold on to your initial choices while at the same time, expanding on (heightening) the choices you have made; and learning to become deft at creating and weaving unexpected, character-based choices into your work.
Annoyance classes challenge the conventional wisdom of the rules of improvisation, examining what’s behind them and how they came to be in the first place. Simply put, we make you the best improviser YOU can be. All of our intensive teachers are ensemble members who have learned and performed with The Annoyance, and thus have first hand experience with the way we approach improvisation.
"This whole week got me doing things that I've never done and loving improv again like I never have before."
"It was a really wonderful experience and it was engaging from Monday through Friday. Everyone was really friendly and made us feel welcome"
"That theater is a special place... Every instructor was mind-blowing in their own way and really helped my approach to improv."
Student Info & Policies:
Getting HereCTA The Annoyance is conveniently located about half a block east of the Belmont Red/Brown/Purple Line CTA stop. The Belmont station is fully accessible, but you'll want to check for elevator alerts ahead of time as they sometimes are not in service. We're also steps away from the 77 Belmont bus route as well as the 22 Clark bus. The nearest stops for both routes are at Belmont & Clark. DRIVING Lake Shore Drive is about half a mile east of us, and we're centrally located between quite a number of bigger streets (Clark, Ashland, and Broadway) so getting here via car is a breeze. We'll be honest, parking can be a bit tough around here at times. You may have to scope out some smaller neighborhood streets for a spot, but there is public parking on Belmont as well. If you do park on Belmont, be sure to pay at one of the pay stations! The Chicago Parking Authority does not mess around. BIKING For the love of God, wear a helmet. ADDRESS 851 W Belmont Ave, 2nd Floor Chicago, IL 60657
BarHOURS OF OPERATION Sundays - Wednesdays: 6:30 PM - 11:00 PM Thursdays - Fridays: 6:30 PM - 2:00 AM Saturdays - 6:30 PM - 3:00 AM BAR INFO We have a wide range of drinks available, including a variety of beers on tap. We also have non-alcoholic drinks for those who are underage or don't partake. Our bar manager, Pete, and friendly bar staff can set you up with whatever you're thirsty for. Plus if you're hungry, we've got a variety of prepackaged snacks!
Tickets and Box OfficeYou can purchase tickets online ahead of time, as well as at our box office prior to the show. Our box office is located in the bar on the second floor to the right of the door, and just outside our 2nd floor elevator. Check in here to pick up your tickets and purchase Annoyance merch and books on improvisation and comedy. (Our founder, Mick, wrote a great book called Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out that's basically required reading for anyone who's into improv). We accept both cash and card; also please note that there is a small convenience fee on ticket purchases. The box office opens at 6:30 PM every night. The minimum age requirement is 14. Please be aware that there is likely to be 'blue' language and adult content.
Safety ProtocolsWe are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone who steps through our doors, so we've put some protocols in place in accordance with public health recommendations. VAX/MASKS We no longer require proof of vaccination or masks; we will continue to follow the Illinois Dept. of Health recommendations. SANITIZATION The Annoyance has protocols in place to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly sanitized in between shows and at the end of the night. We have hand sanitizer located throughout the theatre for your use. In all our classrooms, we have air purifiers. EXPOSURE Risk of exposure to COVID-19 is possible in any public space. When you're here, we ask that you keep this in mind and be as safe as possible for yourself and others. If you aren't feeling well, are exhibiting symptoms, or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days, we ask that you stay home and come back when you're feeling better. If you test positive in the days following your visit, please notify theatre management.
AccessibilityThe Annoyance is accessible to all with an elevator as well as accessible seating options. There is a ramp onto our Mainstage for performers and guest artists, and our dressing rooms, studios, and bathrooms are fully accessible as well. We strive to make our theatre a place for everyone, so if there's something you need, please let us know. Please note that many of our Mainstage productions may have lights and sounds that may affect those with light and auditory sensitivity. Let us know if this is something that affects you and we will let you know if the show you are interested in seeing is one of those.
Performance PoliciesWe have some policies in place to ensure that we can provide a fun, enjoyable theatre experience for everyone. VIDEO RECORDING & PHOTOGRAPHY Please don't record the show or take pictures during it. It's super distracting to your fellow audience members as well as the performers giving their all on stage. Enjoy the experience of live performance and save your sick video and photography skills for after the show. If you'd like to see photos and videos from the shows, you can check us out on social media and our online channels. THEATRE ETIQUETTE Please turn off your cell phone and don't talk during the shows. No one wants to hear your ringtone (even if it's a banger). The performance is on stage - not in the audience. As is typical in improv, we often ask the audience for suggestions, but we ask that you don't randomly shout out things when not asked. We also request that you don't shout out racist, homophobic, or ableist suggestions. We won't take them and you'll definitely get called out by the performers. Spare yourself the embarrassment. SNEAKIN' IN Just... don't do it. We're pretty laid back, but we will remove you from the show if you sneak in. This behavior is extremely disrespectful to both the performers as well as the community we've worked tirelessly to create. HARASSMENT, BULLYING, & DISCRIMINATION We do not tolerate harassment of any kind, whether directed towards our performers, our staff, or our audiences. Any kind of harassment, bullying, or discrimination will get you kicked out. The Annoyance is a safe place for all people, except assholes. SHOW ADVISORIES Our work is uncensored and we do not actively offer advisories about subject matter as each person's sensitivities vary. If you have questions about content, age-appropriateness or other issues, please reach out to us via email or talk to a member of our staff at the theatre. Assume that the show you're going to see is only for mature audiences. Apart from our shows specifically for young audiences, we ask that you leave kids under the age of 14 at home. PHOTO & RECORDING DISCLAIMER Please know that when you are at The Annoyance, you or members of your party may be photographed or recorded by an employee for Annoyance publicity purposes as well as on our security cameras. Your attendance indicates that you are giving us permission to use your image in our media and publicity as well as on our website.