Rails Comedy Student Handbook

This Handbook contains important and pertinent information regarding Rails Comedy and general policies and procedures for our students. All new students should read this Handbook thoroughly and bookmark this page for their reference. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Executive Producer, Walker Green, at walker@railscomedy.com. Every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date. However, policies and procedures are subject to change without notice, at the Rails Comedy’s discretion.

About Rails Comedy

Our students come from many backgrounds and experience levels. Whatever your reason for joining, we aim to create a safe and supportive environment where you can explore and grow. The focus of Rails Comedy's classes is to teach the skills which underlie the work on our resident stages. They are taught by professionals working in their fields, dedicated to helping students develop their artistic voice, both individually and within an ensemble, and to provide the tools and techniques needed to express that voice. We draw on our company’s history of ensemble improvisation, satire, and revue comedy as developed and practiced by our actors, directors, and teachers and serve as a laboratory for the exploration of the future of the art form.

Facility Information

Rails Comedy's Training Center is located at The DC Arts Center at 2438 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 in Adams Morgan.

There are restrooms located throughout the building. During class times the available restrooms are: one single gender neutral restroom in the green room and one upstairs in the gallery.

General Facility Information


Wear comfortable clothing to class — something you can easily move in. The temperature varies in the theater. Layered clothing is suggested.


All of our facilities are open to the public. Never leave your belongings unattended. Rails Comedy is not responsible for any lost or stolen articles.

Classes & Attendance

Class Times

We aim to make your class days and times constant throughout each program, however we cannot guarantee this.

Attendance/Making Up Missed Classes

Students are expected to attend all classes. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late or leave more than 20 minutes early this also counts as an absence.


Some of our programs and specialty classes will require prerequisites and/or audition.

Auditing/Guests and Sharing Class Links

Visitors are not allowed to attend regular classes or workshops. Not only is that unfair to students who have paid to be there, it can also be dangerous and expose our classes to harassment.

Substitute Instructors

A substitute teacher may sometimes be necessary due to the fact that our faculty consists of working artists. Illness, tech issues, emergencies, and other events outside our instructors’ control can also occur. Substitute instructors will be provided with class curriculum and materials to ensure a seamless student experience.

Certificate Programs

Rails Comedy does not currently offer certificate programs.

Payment Policies

Tuition Policy

Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable. Rails Comedy reserves the right to accept or deny any application. You, the student, are responsible for the entire tuition regardless if the tuition is paid in full or on a payment plan.

Payment Plans

Payment plans are not currently available for classes.

Standards of Conduct

Statement on Respect and Classroom Conduct

Respect is paramount in the classroom, whether in-person or virtual. We are here to work and learn together, and support one another. Any racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or otherwise discriminatory behavior or comments will not be allowed, and students who display such behavior may be asked to leave their class or permanently expelled, per the Discipline Policy.

Anti-Harassment Policy

Harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, is strictly prohibited. Rails Comedy will not tolerate harassment by anyone, including instructors, staff, students, visitors, vendors, contractors, and third parties. Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s participation in Rails Comedy programs, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Sexual assault is a criminal act that violates the standards of our community and is unacceptable at Rails Comedy. Rails Comedy's Sexual Assault policy applies to students, instructors, staff, and visitors, as well as vendors, contractors, and third parties.


We encourage students to share their pronouns with their instructors and classmates. Pronouns are an extension of one’s identity and therefore deserve respect. Disrespectful behaviour in regards to Pronouns would violate our Code of Conduct and Anti Harassment Policy and should be reported to walker@railscomedy.com. For more information on pronouns please visit: https://uwm.edu/lgbtrc/support/gender-pronouns/.

Privacy Policy

Rails Comedy does not permit the sharing of personal information for students and staff. This includes but is not limited to contact information such as cell phone numbers, addresses, schedules, and general whereabouts. Classmates can share contact information if they so wish. If you need to contact your current instructor or a staff member, please use the Rails Comedy phone number (202.875.8467) or a Rails Comedy email address only. Staff members of Rails Comedy should only be contacted while on duty. Information pertaining to minors can be shared with their parents or legal guardians when appropriate.

Relationships Between Faculty and Students

It is against Rails Comedy policy for students and instructors to engage in romantic relationships with one another. Doing so may result in disciplinary action for both student and instructor.

Personal Matters Outside of Rails Comedy

Rails Comedy is aware that life events and personal matters can affect a student’s participation inside the classroom setting. While we encourage students to work together for their class development, we cannot facilitate arbitration for any matters not related to Rails Comedy or situations that may occur outside of our purview. If you or someone you know has a situation requiring additional help, please contact the proper authorities.

Anti-Violence Policy

Rails Comedy maintains a zero tolerance policy for violence. Acts or threats of physical violence which involve or affect our faculty, students, or staff or which occur on Rails Comedy property, will not be tolerated.

Weapons Policy

Rails Comedy prohibits all persons who enter company property from carrying a handgun, firearm, knife, explosive, or other prohibited weapon of any kind regardless of whether the person is licensed to carry the weapon or not. Violation of this policy is grounds for discipline, including immediate dismissal.

Drug and Alcohol Policy

Coming to class, whether in-person or virtually, under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol negatively affects your ability to learn, creates a hostile classroom environment, and shows a lack of respect towards your instructor and other students in your class. Students who do so may be asked to leave their class or program, and risk permanent expulsion from Rails Comedy. This policy also applies to students performing in student shows, jams, or open mics.

Complaint and Reporting Procedure

Any student who experiences or witnesses a violation of any of these policies on Rails Comedy property or in a Rails Comedy classroom environment should contact walker@railscomedy.com. When applicable, the student is also encouraged to report the incident to the proper authorities and seek medical care if needed. All concerns and complaints will be treated with confidentiality to the extent practicable without compromising the investigation and/or resolution of the matter, and will be investigated thoroughly and promptly. No one at Rails Comedy may reprimand, retaliate, or discriminate against an individual for raising a concern, making a complaint, and/or participating in an investigation. Any individual who believes that they have been retaliated against in any manner should report the matter to walker@railscomedy.com.

Open Door Policy

Rails Comedy is committed to providing a safe, productive, and fun educational environment for all students. Part of this commitment is encouraging an open and frank atmosphere in which any problem, concern, or question can be addressed and discussed. These can include but are not limited to educational, financial, medical, safety, or accessibility concerns. If you have any concerns about your class or Rails Comedy that you do not feel comfortable sharing with your ensemble or your instructor, please reach out to walker@railscomedy.com.

Discipline Policy

If an instructor feels that a student is engaging in behavior which is threatening, dangerous, and/or disruptive to the classroom ensemble, the instructor may dismiss that student from their class. Behavior which would result in immediate dismissal includes, but is not limited to: threats or acts of violence, inebriation, violation of our Standards of Conduct, or other actions which are disruptive to the work of the class. Students dismissed from class in this manner may not return to class until they have spoken with a Rails Comedy administrator. At this point a warning may be issued or, depending on the severity of their actions, the student permanently expelled.


Executive Producer

Walker Green – 202.875.8467 / walker@railscomedy.com

Have ideas about new things you want to see at Rails Comedy? Share them with ideas@railscomedy.com.