Friday, March 30, 2012

The Onion Interviews Alice Moran

The Onion, which recently opened a local branch in Toronto, did a great interview with Alice Moran, the writer and performer in many of the Second City Network videos that have come out of Toronto. Read the full interview here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrating 100 Revues, The Second City Presents, "Who Do We Think We Are?"

The Second City is proud to announce the opening of The Second City's 100th Revue: Who Do We Think We Are?. Reviewing press are invited to attend the show on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, at 8:00pm at The Second City Mainstage Theatre (1616 N. Wells St). A Grand Opening is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at 8:00p.

The Cast of The Second City's 100th Revue: Who Do We Think We Are?Barreling into election season, it's increasingly clear that all politics are personal. Life is not as black and white as it seems, both racially and metaphorically. It's also not as bad as it seems. In the midst of uncertainty, there are still plenty of joys to choose and celebrate – both intellectual and carnal. The Second City's 100th Revue: Who Do We Think We Are? explores the good, the bad and the ridiculous that makes us uniquely American and more importantly, makes us human.

After directing The Second City e.t.c. Jeff Award-winning revue (Best New Work, Best Production) Sky's the Limit (Weather Permitting), Matt Hovde takes up the helm to direct The Second City's 100th Revue: Who Do We Think We Are?, written and performed by Tim Baltz (Jeff Award-winner - Best Actor), Edgar Blackmon, Holly Laurent, Katie Rich, Mary Sohn and Steve Waltien. Musical Director Julie Nichols returns as Musical Director and Craig Taylor returns as Stage Manager. Stylist is Claire Kemmock. The producing team for The Second City's 100th Revue: Who Do We Think We Are? includes Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer for The Second City, Andrew Alexander; President, Diana Martinez; Executive Vice President, Kelly Leonard; Producer, Alison Riley and Associate Producer, Jeremy Smith.

Tickets for The Second City's 100th Revue: Who Do We Think We Are? are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at The show schedule and ticket prices are as follows:

Tuesday 8 pm $23.00
Wednesday 8 pm $23.00
Thursday 8 pm $23.00
Friday and Saturday 8 pm & 11 pm $28.00
Sunday 7 pm $23.00

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Revue Opens in Toronto

The Second City's Toronto Theatre celebrated the official opening of it's Spring 2012 Mainstage Revue, Live Wrong and Prosper

Alumni, media, Season Pack holders, and local media personalities were on hand to enjoy the debut performance.

The Toronto Star exclaimed "you're going to laugh a lot at Live Wrong and Prosper... Sheer brilliance... Hail to the cast." Read the full review here.

The new production is written and performed by Ashley Comeau, Jason DeRosse, Nigel Downer, Alastair Forbes, Inessa Frantowski and Carly Heffernan. And directed by Chris Earle, with music by Matt Reid.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trivia Night Fundraiser for Make-A-Wish This Tuesday in the e.t.c. Theatre

The Second City Training Center is hosting a trivia night fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation this Tuesday, March 27th at 7pm in the ETC. $10 gets you in the door, a hot meal and qualifies you to win some pretty amazing, local prizes. Come show off your smarts!

Celebrate World Theatre Day March 27!

World Theatre Day was created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) as a means of celebrating the many contributions theatre practitioners and patrons make around the world - to arts and culture and to life writ large. Now in its 50th year, World Theatre Day is celebrated on six continents, and is a day to remember the power and responsibility of our globe's theatre-makers and theatre-lovers.

We hope you will get out on Tuesday and support local theatre by supporting your favorites shows and spaces!

Click here for more information on World Theatre Day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicago Live! Wraps UP the Season with Buddy Guy

Don't miss the final installment of Chicago Live! this Thursday at 6:30p in UP Comedy Club featuring an all-star line-up including Chicago's blues legend Buddy Guy, Alderman Robert Fioretti and Indian As Apple Pie CEO Anupy Singla as well as a preview of the new Mythbusters exhibit at The Museum of Science and Industry and a performance from singer/songwriter Musikanto. Click here for a complete line-up and to reserve tickets.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Join the Training Center for a Screening of "Modern Imbecile's Planet World" on April 13th at 7pm

Modern Imbecile, comprised of Second City Training Center-Chicago alums, is hosting a Q & A and screening of their newest film "Modern Imbecile's Planet World" on April 13th. Join us in welcoming Doug Manley and Kevin M. Brennan back in the building! Find out more about "Modern Imbecile's Planet World" here.

When: April 13th, 2012 – Q & A at 7pm / Screening at 7:30pm

Where: The Second City Training Center Room 305

How: Reserve tickets by emailing Andrew at or by calling 312.664.3959

About Modern Imbecile

Doug and Kevin met while attending the writing program at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Upon graduation, they formed their own sketch group called The Mantasticks. The Mantasticks went on to tour the country and carve out a bold new path for the underserved audience of young, white, upper middle class males who are into sketch comedy. Modern Imbecile was formed in 2006 when Doug began making funny videos instead of working at his then day job at Chicago post house, Optimus. Doug and Kevin moved to Los Angeles and started hanging out with various celebrities, paying $15 for a cocktail and using phrases like, "We totally get it." and "We're big fans, but it's just not right for us." In the winter of 2010 they ventured into the vast Mojave Desert to begin the 6 day shooting odyssey that became Planet World. The film went on to play Slamdance where it won The Road To Park City Award, The Atlanta Underground Film festival where it won Best Comedy as well as The Austin Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, New Filmmakers Los Angeles and BUTFF in The Netherlands. Currently Doug and Kevin are working on their next feature as well as a TV series based on Planet World. Oh, and they are now paying $16 for a cocktail.

Monday, March 12, 2012

On the Road with The Second City

The Second City Touring Company is always on the road and this month we're gearing up for shows in Dubuque, IA, La Jolla, CA and Vienna, VA. Click here for a complete tour schedule.

Thanks to our friends at Flight 001 for loaning us some travel essentials for our photo shoot with photographer Dave Rentauskas. Pictured (clockwise from top) Daniel Strauss, Tim Ryder, Tawny Newsome, Mike Kosinski, and Eileen Montelione.

Chicago Live! Goes on a Taste Trip

Chicago Live! returns this week with an all-star line-up of guests including:

Moto Restaurant exectuvie chef Homaro Cantu (interview with Mark Caro)

Hotelier and owner of the Public Chicago and Pump Room Ian Schrager (interview with Rick Kogan)

Author Adam Levin (interview with Chris Borrelli)

Editor-in-Chief Rookie Mag Tavi Gevinson (interview with Wendy Donahue)

Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at UP Comedy Club. After each show, the audience is invited to a 30-minute reception with the cast, crew and guests. Tickets are only $18.00 each. Click here to reserve tickets.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicago Director and Performer Coming to Toronto Training Centre!

Actor, writer, director, instructor, Sandy Marshall will be teaching an intensive class focusing on ensembles and longform improv styles.

This 5-hour workshop will focus on the value of building an ensemble, discovering and playing to strengths, and experimenting with environments and long form styles.

It will begin with a practical round-table discussion on forming and building an independent ensemble, self-producing, developing practical marketing skills, and quickly translating stage content to all forms of digital media. The day will then transition to an intensive afternoon focusing on long form fundamentals, formats and acting -- and will culminate in a fully-improvised slow-burn comedic one-act play.

Recent directing credits for The Second City include the National Touring Company, shows aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line, and shorts for The Second City Network. He directed the critically-acclaimed Playand HERO at iO Chicago and the Magnet Theatre in NYC. As an actor, Sandy recently appeared alongside Vince Vaughn in Ron Howard's The Dilemma, in John Pinette's Comedy Central special Still Hungry, and performs for Second City Communications. As a writer, Sandy is a founding member of Chicago's sketch ensemble Schadenfreude. With Schad, Sandy was nominated for a Chicago Emmy for the television pilot "IL-Informed." He also co-wrote and performed in 60 episodes of Schad's nationally-syndicated self-titled radio show, and has co-written two screenplays. With his writing partner Brian d'Arcy James, he co-created the television pilot Shiny People about the world of corporate entertainment.

Date: Saturday April 21 10am-3pm

Pre-requisite: Longform I and or Conservatory 2

Tuition: $125.00+HST SPECIAL DEAL! Register for this class AND the Steven Kampmann "Writing Your Own Screenplay" and SAVE $25.00 (not in conjunction with any other offer or discount). Call the office to register with the discount!

Ensembles & Styles Intensive REGISTER

The Second City Network returns to SXSW

The Second City Network returns to South By Southwest for the second year in a row with their short film, Cherry On Top.

South by Southwest is a popular annual music, film and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, TX, with a reputation as a breeding ground for new creative technologies and new directing talent.

Directed by Mike Damanskis and written by Charity L. Miller, Cherry On Top tells the story of a prostitute who finds new ways to attract business in the 21st century by using cutting edge social media marketing to promote the oldest profession in the world.

The Second City Network is thrilled not only about its recent success, but also applauds the success of its alumni roster of contributors who are also experiencing success including Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central's new hit series, Key & Peele and Maribeth Monroe of Workaholics.

After launching the instant viral success Sassy Gay Friend video series, The Second City Network continues to gain critical acclaim for its many web shows, including The Partisans, a political satire series directed by Andy Cobb. Other popular series' from the network include Cougar Lesbians, Completely Honest Guy, and Michele Fan's Makeup Tips.

The Second City Network is no stranger to SXSW. Last year their film "The Announcement," directed by Joshua Funk, screened during the Narrative Shorts block. Funk’s directing skills also made his Undocumented Worker: The Audition a finalist in last year’s NBC Short Cuts Festival.

"Cherry on Top" screens as part of the SXSW Midnight Shorts Short Program:

Friday, March 9
11:30PM - Midnight Shorts
Alamo Lazar B - 1120 South Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

Saturday, March 10
11:30PM – Midnight Shorts
Alamo Ritz 2 - 320 East 6th St, Austin, TX

Friday, March 16
11:45PM – Midnight Shorts
Alamo Lamar C - 1120 South Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

In attendance on Friday, March 16th will be the film's director Mike Damanskis, and producer Mark Kienlen. Writer/Producer Charity L. Miller and lead actress/producer Travina Springer will attend all three screenings.

Exec. Producers: Joshua Funk & Mark Kienlen
Writer: Charity L. Miller
Director/Producer: Mike Damanskis
Camera: Renee Greathouse
Asst Editor: Kemi Azeez
PA's: Kemi Azeez, Tyler Alexander
Ginger Snap: Melanie Specht
John: Robbie Rittman
Cherry: Travina Springer

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8 - One Night Only - Sarah Vowell & Jon Langford @ UP Comedy Club

New York Times bestselling author Sarah Vowell and musician Jon Langford for an evening of tales and songs of Ships and Islands to promote her latest book, Unfamilar Fishes. A copy of the book is included in the ticket price.

Click here to reserve tickets.

Check out one of their past collaborations on This American Life as Sarah Vowell tells the lost story behind "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," accompanied by Jon Langford. Listen here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

BuzzKill Writer/Director Steven Kampmann on WOR Radio

Steven Kampmann appeared on WOR Radio to talk about the movie and his unconventional new model for funding and distributing a film.

Listen to the great interview here:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

JR Strzelec Memorial

The Second City Training Center will be holding a memorial for our dear friend, coworker, and fellow student, JR Strzelec. Please join us Monday, March 12th at 2pm in the ETC Theatre for refreshments and laughter and to remember JR. Contact Scott Elam at with any questions.

The Second City Training Center Offers "Social Anxiety Bootcamp" Starting March 10th (You can enroll in until March 31, 2012)

The Second City Training Center is teaming up with Marc Pfeffer, M.S, and the Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center to offer a "Social Anxiety Bootcamp" set to start on March 10th. For more information and to see a video testimonial, click here.

What is Social Anxiety Bootcamp?

PARC and The Second City teamed up to design a unique solution for people with anxiety disorders.

The Social Anxiety Bootcamp is an innovative, comprehensive, and interactive approach to working with people with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Bootcamp combines psycho-educational groups, psychotherapy, and improvisation for those who are ready to do the work. Together, these services will help you achieve less anxiety, allow for more comfort in everyday social situations, manage uncertainty, and let life unfold.

About Mark Pfeffer, M.S. LMFT

Mark Pfeffer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Illinois and California. He is Director of the Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center in Chicago. PARC is a specialized outpatient program that provides comprehensive treatment for anxiety and related disorders. Mark received his Master's degree in Psychology from Boston University with additional post-graduate work at UCLA. He also served as the Commissioner of Social Services for the City of Santa Monica and is an active clinical member of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) and International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).

Mark has appeared on multiple episodes of the A&E's Emmy® nominated show Hoarders, the Discovery Channel, and the National Geographic Channel. He has been featured and quoted regarding mental health issues in various media outlets including: ABC7 Chicago; CBS2 Chicago; NBC; CLTV Chicago; Chicago Tribune; Pioneer Press, WGCI-FM and Home & Garden magazine. He has also authored numerous publications, and was a recipient of the 2002 "Golden Bell" award from the Mental Health Association of Illinois for an article he co-authored on Panic Disorder.