Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Past Student, Touring Company Alum, and "30 Rock" Cast Member, John Lutz, Discusses His Fear of Planes and Snakes with "Wired"

<p>John Lutz gets deep about his fear of snakes and flying in this <a href="http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/01/column-lutz-snakes-mice-fear/2/" target="_blank">"Wired" article</a>.</p>
<p>Lutz moved to Chicago with the goal of working with The Second City. He took classes with The Second City Training Center and later was invited to join the National Touring Company.</p>
<p>The Second City now offers Summer Immersions for adults in Improv, Sketch Writing, Music and more! Check out our <a href="http://www.secondcity.com/training/chicago/coursecatalog/108/" target="_blank">weekly offerings here</a>!</p>

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting Younger! We now offer classes and camps for Grades 2-4!

<p>A fun filled seventy five minute class designed to introduce your child in the basic improv games used at The Second City. This class helps build your child's creativity and get them accustomed to working and sharing in a group environment. Classes are generally offered in 12-week session that ends with a brief demonstration performance of some skills they've learned! Next session starts in May!</p>
<p><strong>Or sign up for March Break Camp – March Break 2012 dates: March 12-16</strong></p>
<p>Explore the fundamentals of improvisation. Build self-confidence, listening and communication skills and develop creative thinking, team building skills and empathy. Focuses this March Break include character and status, working as an ensemble and creating scenes from scratch. All campers will see The Second City Education Company's newest revue "So You Think You Can Dance, With Wolves," and have a performance of their own on the last day of camp in our John Candy Box Theatre. We encourage new students to improv and experienced students to our March Break Camps!</p>

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Dog Day With The Second City Training Center!

<p>The Training Center staff spent the afternoon at the Chicago Canine Rescue last week and what a treat! We walked and (got walked) up and down the streets of the Forest Glen neighborhood by pups big and small.</p>
<p>The Chicago Canine Rescue was founded in 2001 to help find permanent, loving homes for homeless dogs in our city. CCR has saved the lives of over 3,000 dogs, cats, kittens (yes, they've started helping a few felines each year, too!) and puppies. Check them out! Even if you can't adopt or foster, they are a great place to spend an afternoon walking as many or as few dogs as you'd like.</p>
<p>Thanks to the CCR for having us and we can't wait to come back!</p>
<p>If you are interested in joining The Second City Training Center Volunteer Organization, contact Natalie at <a href="mailto:njones@secondcity.com">njones@secondcity.com</a>.</p>

UP Comedy Club Hosts Series of Grand Opening Events

UP Comedy Club is proud to announce a full schedule of Grand Opening events in February celebrating their brand new theater at Piper's Alley (230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor of Piper's Alley). Featuring new and familiar faces, UP Comedy Club celebrates the eclectic comedy landscape of Chicago with stand-up, improvisation, new theatrical productions and family programming. This hybrid club will feature an eclectic assortment of comedy 7 days a week with over 14 performances a week featuring headliner and alternative stand-up comedians on the weekends, with improvised and scripted comedies offered as matinees and midweek performances.

UP Comedy Club is located at the corner of North & Wells on the third floor of Piper's Alley which also houses The Second City e.t.c. Theatre and The Second City Training Center campus. Designed by Ryan Nestor of Barker & Nestor, the premier 285 seat space is a classic cabaret-style theatre featuring leather upholstered seats, cocktail service and full menu. UP Comedy Club is a fresh new addition to the Chicago comedy scene and boasts a warm and intimate space to enjoy comedy 7 days a week and features a delicious lunch and dinner menu with Windy City culinary favorites like Lou Malnati's Pizza, Vienna Beef sandwiches, and Eli's Cheesecake along with full service bar and no drink minimums.

"We see this space as a great opportunity to showcase and incubate new theatrical works as well as feature some of Chicago's and the country's funniest stand-up comedians," said Andrew Alexander, CEO & Executive Producer of The Second City and UP Comedy Club. "This eclectic approach to programming is unique to Chicago and we look forward to continuing our philosophy of nurturing young talent."

Listed below is a complete schedule of Grand Opening Events in February 2012 for UP Comedy Club:

Up Comedy Club Presents
Grand Opening - Friday, February 17 at 8:00pm

Cash Cab's Emmy Award-winning host Ben Bailey headlines the Grand Opening of Up Comedy Club Presents... with a host of Special Guests including Second City alum Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Maribeth Monroe (Workaholics) and The Second City's Improv All-Stars cast directed by Mick Napier.

Sex, Love & The Second City
Press Opening - Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30pm

Join us for the Chicago Premier of Sex, Love and The Second City! The Second City delivers a new romp about the search for love in the digital age. Relationships. The Internet. Two of the funniest subjects in the history of the universe. Whether you've been poked, winked or tweeted - or even found love (gasp) the old-fashioned way - you'll LOL at this hilarious look at the technology that was supposed to make our love lives so much easier, but only made it that much more complicated. This new comedy also features some unpredictable and hilarious audience-fueled improv scenes and audience interaction that is guaranteed to make you :-) and a virtual appearance by Fred Willard! This is the perfect date night show or Girls Night Out! Its way funnier than anything you'll find on TV, but if you miss this, you won't find it on Hulu later. Weekend, midweek and matinee performances available.

The Second City's History of Chicago
Press Opening - Sunday, February 19 at 1:00pm

For over 50 years The Second City has been making fun of all things Chicago. From Ditka to Daley, Blago to the Bean - we have a civic history that is filled with characters and comedy. Featuring a mix of archival and original material as well as classic Chicago video moments, The Second City's History of Chicago gives audiences a hilarious and unorthodox history lesson of the Windy City. The Second City's History of Chicago is not just for tourists - Chicagoans will love the inside perspective on some of our favorite Chicagoisms. Weekend, midweek and matinee performances available.

The Second City's Improv All-Stars
Press Opening - Monday, February 13 at 8:30pm

See Chicago's finest improvisers under the direction of the legendary Mick Napier in an evening of unscripted and unequaled improvisational comedy. This show is highly interactive, unpredictable and thoroughly original which makes for a high energy, hilarious "edge of your seat" show.

Improv Extravaganza Explosion!
Press Opening - Saturday, February 11 at 11:00am

Improv Extravaganza Explosion! is a hilarious action-packed hour of family-friendly, interactive improvisation where we pull ideas straight from the audience, and make it all up on the spot. The best part is that you never know what might happen! Second City is thrilled to now offer school groups and youth groups the chance to see creativity and imagination celebrated at its best with matinee performances perfect for school and youth groups. Great for ages 8 - 80.

Tickets are now on sale for all events at UPComedyClub.com.

Friday, January 20, 2012

UP Comedy Club Featured in Time Out Comedy Issue

UP Comedy Club is featured in this week's issue of Time Out Chicago which focuses on the Chicago comedy scene. Click here to check out article by Jason Heidemann.

Second City Alum Mike O'Brien Featured in New York Times

Check out this New York Times feature on Second City mainstage alum Mike O'Brien as he talks about his hilarious web series, 7 Minutes in Heaven. Click here to read the full article.

Second City Alums and Teachers Recognized in Newcity's List of Top 50 Performers in Chicago Theatre

Congrats to a host of Second City folks who were named to New City’s Top 50 Players in Chicago Theatre list. The list includes current mainstage director Billy Bungeroth, Second City Training Center teacher Jet Eveleth and alums Mick Napier, Dexter Bullard, TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi.

Read the full list here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teacher of the Week - Aaron Graham

The Second City is proud to spotlight Aaron Graham as the "Teacher of the Week"! Aaron has been teaching with The Second City since 2008 and has taught in the Music Program and more. In addition to teaching, Aaron is available to direct or coach teams or individuals in sketch, improv, or musicals. Aaron also recently directed The Fine Print Theatre Company's original holiday show "Christmas in Chicago" which ran for two weeks at Chicago Dramatists in December. For more info on classes, click here.

Aaron's Bio:
Aaron Graham is a Jeff Award-winning actor with over twelve years experience as an actor, singer, improvisor, teacher and director. He recently spent time working in Los Angeles where he performed at iO West, ComedySportz LA and The Second City Hollywood. His Second City credits include Jewsical! The Musical and Infinite Sundaes. He has worked with many Chicago theatres including Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, Northlight and TimeLine, and is a proud member of the Story Pirates, a nationally-recognized arts education and performance organization. Aaron's directing credits include professional and student productions such as Listen Kid..., States: The Musical!, The Timeless Tale of New Portsmouth and Hollow Hills High School. Aaron trained at The Second City Conservatory, iO Chicago, Annoyance, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre LA and BADA. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University and is thrilled to be back in his hometown of Chicago.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mike Enriquez

We are sad to report that Mike Enriquez lost his battle to cancer last night. Mike was a treasured former employee of The Second City and a long- time fixture at ComedySportz and iO Theater, where he performed, taught and coached generations of young improvisers with deep care and respect. Our condolences go out to Mike's family and friends. We will post service information as soon as it is announced.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Second City Training Center Teacher of the Week: Alex Moffat!

Alex Moffat is excited to be teaching with The Second City Chicago's Teen and Youth Program. He directs the Teen Sketch Ensemble and teaches in the Stand-up, Improv, and Sketch Programs. A Chicago-area native, Alex recently closed a run of his solo show, Good Little Winnetka Boy, at The Annoyance Theater. He hosts El Show with Alex Moffat, improvises with Wonderbat, and is a founding member of the unstoppable improv group, "The Album". He also acro-dunks for The Chicago Bulls and loves his family. Come on up and say hello.

Classes begin this week! Check out our full Teen/Youth course guide here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Former Student, Rachel Bertsche, Recommends Second City Classes In Her New Book

In a recent interview regarding her quest to meet 52 potential friends in a year, Rachel Bertsche found that taking classes with The Second City was a great way to do so because, "[T]here is a consistency there." To read more about her recently published book, MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend and The Second City Training Center, see the full article here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Support the Petition in Edmonton to Build a SCTV Monument!

Avenue Magazine began a petition in Edmonton to build a monument to the television show SCTV. The idea has been gaining speed over the past two days, and they need your help.

Read this news article about the monument petition and if you support the idea, please sign!

"American Imperil" Makes Angeleno Magazine's Top 10 Events for January

The Friday night showcase at Second City Hollywood, "American Imperil," was picked as one of the top 10 events in January by Angeleno Magazine. See the full list of events here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Second City’s History of Chicago Featured on Windy City Live

The Second City's History of Chicago was featured this morning on Windy City Live. Windy City Live contributor Billy Dec included us in his "What's On Dec" segment. Click here to check out the segment and see what else is happening in Chicago this week.

Second City to be Honored at Chicago Film Critic Awards

The Second City will be honored with The Big Shoulders Award at The 23rd Chicago Film Critics Awards on Saturday, January 7 at 6 p.m. at Chicago's Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut St. Also slated to accept awards that night are Shirley MacLaine (Commitment to the Craft Award), James Earl Jones (Oscar Micheaux Award), Dennis Farina (Commitment to Chicago) and Jason Segel (Commedia Extraordinaire Award).

Click here for a complete list of winners.

Tickets for the Chicago Film Critics Awards are now on sale and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.

TribLive Interviews Second City Conservatory Alum and Present Touring Company Cast Member, Eileen Montelione

Eileen Montelione, a graduate of Second City's Conservatory Program in Chicago, was interviewed by TribLive Pittsburg regarding the recent Touring Company show. To learn how Eileen prepares for the improvisational portion of a show, read the whole article here.

Eileen spent over four years with The Training Center as a student, intern, and employee. Eileen has also taught in the Teen and Youth Program as an instructor in The Second City's popular summer camps.

Alum Jackie Hoffman's "Jackie Five-Oh" Opens in LA

Alum Jackie Hoffman's Jackie Five-Oh! is having it's West Coast Premiere on January 13-22 at the Renburg Theatre. The show has been called "scathingly brilliant," "hilariously grumpy," and "savagely funny."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Second City Alum, Keegan-Michael Key, Stars with Jordan Peele in Comedy Central's "Key and Peele" Sketch Series

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele make their debut on Tuesday, January 31 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Key was a member of Second City Detroit's mainstage cast as well as the Second City Chicago's e.t.c. theatre, where he wrote and performed shows "Holy War, Batman!" and "Curious George Goes to War" for which he won several Joseph Jefferson Awards (which honor excellence in Chicago theater). Read the whole release here.

Check out Keegan-Michael Key's sketch informing potential students of how cool Second City Training Center classes are here (Not Safe for Work):

Ivory Ocean Memorial

The Second City was sad to learn of the untimely passing of touring company alum Ivory Ocean last week in Los Angeles. Our condolences go out to Ivory’s family and many friends. Memorial Service information is as follows:

Ivory Ocean Memorial Service (LA)
Sunday, January 8th 4-7pm
Tahitian Terrace (in the clubhouse)
16001 Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, 90272
Potluck; Donation requested to help family with expenses.

Co-Author of "The Second City Guide To Improv in the Classroom,," Katherine McKnight, releases new title, "Hands-on Grammar."

Katherine McKnight is back with another classroom guide for educators. Check out the press release here.

Katherine teamed up with The Second City's beloved Mary Scruggs in 2007 to create "The Second City Guide To Improv In The Classroom," giving teachers an array of improv exercises to boost skills that are crucial for student learning: listening, teamwork, communication, idea-generation, vocabulary, and more. The book's exercises are used in The Second City Training Center's ongoing workshop "Improv for Creative Pedagogy." Educators gain CPU's while learning fundamental improvisational exercises, techniques and methods of adapting these to classroom instruction of any content area or grade level.

For more information on "Improv For Creative Pedagogy" or "Improv for Literacy," please contact the Training Center at 312.664.3959 or click here.

About the Authors of "The Second City Guide To Improv in the Classroom"

Katherine S. McKnight, Ph.D., associate professor at National-Louis University and an onsite consultant for the National Council of Teachers of English, is co-author of Teaching Writing in the Inclusive Classroom and Teaching the Classics in the Inclusive Classroom.

Mary Scruggs (1964-2011) was an actress, director, playwright, and educator. She was the head of writing and education programs for The Second City Training Center in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Chicago Reader interviews Brian Posen, Head of The Improv Program

Brian Posen talks with the Reader about his experience in improv, acting, teaching and more. Check out the article here.