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TAPS 105 — An Introduction to Stand-Up Comedy Writing

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—May 20
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 14
Unit: 1
Tuition: $435
Instructor(s): Kate Rubin
Limit: 22
Status: Registration opens Feb 25, 8:30 am (PT)
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 1—May 20
8 weeks
Drop By
Apr 14
1 Unit
Kate Rubin
Registration opens Feb 25, 8:30 am (PT)
The best comedians can make it seem as if getting a crowd to laugh is easy and natural. In fact, joke writing is a cerebral endeavor that requires intelligence, wit, time commitment, dedication, and a willingness to risk and fail. In this introductory course, students will learn the scientific structure of joke writing, practice it repeatedly on their feet, and leave with a “tight five”—five minutes of material completed and ready to perform. Students will learn how jokes are structured and how to “punch up” their jokes in order to support their already-developed, intuitive sense of what is funny. We will watch some professionals at work and discuss how their material fits within the joke-writing structure you will be learning. Students will also have the opportunity to write new material each week and practice delivering it in class. An introduction to stand-up comedy is for you if you’re new to comedy or stand-up comedy and wish to explore what makes a joke tick, you do or have done some stand-up and want to solidify your conscious process for developing and honing material, or you are an actor or performer who thinks “I’m not funny” and wishes to crack the mechanics of joke writing and joke performing.

Students should plan to attend all class sessions and actively participate in all activities. Students are expected to write between each class session, and to share their written work in class each week. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Kate Rubin, Actor; Writer; Speaker; Coach

Kate Rubin teaches improv and acting at A.C.T. and Capital Stage and has taught for TheatreWorks, Berkeley Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, and many other schools and theaters. She received an MFA in acting from UC Davis, and is a working stage, on-camera, and voiceover actor.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Judy Carter, The Comedy Bible