Thursday, May 31, 2012

Student Headshot Day - June 15th and 16th

The Second City Training Center will be offering a discounted Headshot Day for students on June15th and June 16th (10am-5pm) with guest artist Sally Blood ( Sessions are 1 hour long and include a 15-minute corrective make-up session and 45-minute shoot. Each session is $200 ($75 deposit needed on day of reservation). Participants receive access to all unedited photos via a photo share gallery and can include touched-up, full-color proofs for an additional $25 each, to be arranged directly with the photographer. Reproductions are not included at this time, although there will be information on-hand for slightly discounted reproductions. Email Andrew Thorp at with any questions or time requests

Second City Training Center Staff Members Performing at "Chicago Women's Funny Festival"

Check out Second City Training Center staff member, Jessica Antes, and her sketch ensemble, "Just The Tip," at this year's "Chicago Women's Funny Festival" at Stage 773. Tickets for "Just The Tip" (Sunday June 10th at 7pm) are on sale now!

Nancy Fast, Student Services Coordinator at The Second City Training Center, will be hosting a night of "CWFF" stand-up starting at 10pm on Saturday, June 9th.

Don't miss these hilarious ladies in action!

About "Chicago Women's Funny Festival"
Curated by Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival Executive Director Jill Valentine, the "Chicago Women's Funny Festival" will celebrate not only sketch comedy, but all forms of comedy including stand up, vaudeville, improvisational, musical and more. Celebrating the best in local, and national, female comediennes, the first "Chicago Women's Funny Festival" runs June 6 – 10

About "Just The Tip"
"Just the Tip" brings hilarious and crowd pleasing characters, situations, song, and dance based on their unique experiences and satirical point of view. These ladies have been seen in festivals across the county and all over Chicago. A night with "Just the Tip," you're sure to experience big, hard... laughs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Alum Susan Messing and James Beard Award-Winning Chef Bruce Sherman Join Chicago Live!

Be part of the live studio audience this week for the latest installment of Chicago Tribune's weekly news and entertainment show, Chicago Live! at UP Comedy Club. This week's show features Chicago's movers and shakers including:

North Pond chef and partner Bruce Sherman, winner of the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes

Second City alumni and Chicago improviser Susan Messing

Fashion entrepreneur Zoe Damacela

Musical guests Scott Lucas and the Married Men

Chicago Live! Almanac

Comedy from The Second City

Chicago Live! is recorded in front of a live studio audience at 7 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. Click here to purchase your tickets.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kick Off Summer with Old Town Al Fresco

Start the summer off right during Old Town Al Fresco. From Monday, May 28th - Thursday, May 31st, enjoy dinner and cocktails on the patios of our partner and neighbor restaurants. Here's a list of our participating dinner partners and select specials:

Bistrot Margot (1437 N Wells ): %5 KIR Royales for patio guests

Corcoran's Grill & Pub (1615 N Wells): Free appetizer for the table when other purchases exceed $15.00. Must mention "Living Old Town" or "Old Town al Fresco"

Dinotto Ristorante (215 W. North): Free tiramisu for the table with bottle purchase

O'Brien's Restaurant (1528 N Wells): Half-priced bottles of wine on 5/28 and 5/29; Half-priced appetizers on 5/30; Entertainment by the DePaul School of Music Jazz Trio on 5/31, 6-9pm

Orso's Restaurant (1401 N Wells): Half-priced bottles of wine all day on 5/28 and 5/29; Half-price appetizers from 4p-6p on 5/30 and 5/31.

Frank Caeti and Matt Craig to return to Piccolo Fringe

Frank Caeti and Matt Craig to return to Piccolo Fringe this weekend. After three popular turns at Piccolo Fringe, Los Angeles improv duo FrankenMatt (commonly referred to as "the short guy and the tall guy") return to Charleston with American Imperil, an evolving, politically themed sketch show that takes their familiar brand in new directions. Read more about their Piccolo performances here. American Imperil was originally presented the Hollywood Studio Stage and we wish the guys tons of success with it at the festival!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tina Fey and Mike O'Brien Go Into the Closet

Two Second City Alums were in the closet together on the latest installment of Mike O'Brien's show, "7 Minutes in Heaven." Check out the interview below:

The Second City Training Center Spotlight with Mark Pfeffer!

The Second City Training Center interviews Mark Pfeffer, Director of the Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center, in the latest Training Center Spotlight. Mark teamed up with The Second City TC to develop 'Improv for Anxiety', a program designed to help sufferers of various forms of anxiety recover by using a combination of improvisation and therapy. Visit Mark's website for more information:

Listen to the Podcast!

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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jane Lynch Teaches Smith College Grads An Important Lesson She Learned at The Second City

While performing the commencement speech at Smith College, Jane Lynch shared with grads the importance of "Yes and," a fundamental rule of improvisation that she learned at The Second City. See how "Yes and" transformed Jane Lynch's life by watching the whole commencement speech below:

Kelly Hogan Joins Chicago Live! This Thursday

"The best happy hour in Chicago" returns this week featuring an interview and special performance by critically acclaimed vocalist and musician Kelly Hogan. Kelly Hogan's new single can be downloaded for FREE at

Additional guests this week include Principal in the Bellows Law Group and incoming president of the American Bar Association Laurel Bellows and John Conroy, journalist, author and writer of Timeline Theatre Company's "My Kind of Town."

Chicago Live! is presented every Thursday at 7:00p at UP Comedy Club (230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor of Piper's Alley). Tickets are only $18 and can be reserved here. Click here for more information about Chicago Live!.

Paul O'Sullivan

It is with great sadness that we learned of Second City Toronto alumni Paul O'Sullivan's passing Saturday, May 19. Incredibly talented and frequently described as "fearless," Paul O'Sullivan was a valuable contributor to the Toronto comedy and theater community.

"I consider Paul one of those special Second City folk that brought out the best in his fellow performers," Second City CEO/Executive Producer Andrew Alexander stated in Toronto's Globe & Mail. "He was a kind, gentle, funny man, and will be missed."

Paul O'Sullivan was married to fellow Second City alumni Linda Kash. They have three daughters and live on a farm outside of Peterborough. Memorial services have yet to be announced.

Click here for a more detailed look at the contributions and life of Paul O'Sullivan in Toronto's Globe and Mail.

Friday, May 18, 2012

NATO Summit Planning Info - May 19 - 21

If you're planning to visit us this weekend, we look forward to seeing you. Please note Chicago is hosting the NATO Summit this weekend (May 19 - 21) and there are planned road and Metra closures south of our theater.

For a complete map of closures and security measures during the NATO weekend, please click here to find the best route to and from the theater.

Please keep in mind there will be Intermittent Street Closures for motorcades May 19-21, including:

• I-90/94 from O'Hare to I-55
• Ohio and Ontario streets from I-90/94 to Fairbanks Court/Columbus Drive
• Streets Surrounding the Sears/Willis Tower
• Roosevelt Road, 18th Street and Canalport Avenue near I-90/94

For your convenience, we suggest planning an alternative route to prepare for any potential closures.

If you're planning to use CTA service this weekend, please click here for any service changes and to map your trip.

For a complete list of closures and updates, please visit the Chicago NATO Host website for more information.

Second City Mentioned in the London Evening Standard

The Second City got a great mention in the Londond Evening Standard in a travel article about Chicago as a host city for the NATO Summit.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

General Auditions - for The Second City

The 2012 General Auditions at The Second City - Chicago (June 4 - June 7) are all full. All confirmation emails have been distributed.

We thank you for your interest

If you have not received notification of an appointment (June 4 - June 7) via email and you emailed your head shot and resume to: on Monday, April 30 or Tuesday, May 1 (before 7:00pm CT) - please contact as soon as possible.

Please note - an auto reply - for another set of Second City auditions may be sent to you. Please disregard

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chicago Live! This Thursday @ 7:00pm!

"The best happy hour in town" is back! This week's Chicago Live! features Chicago's newsmakers as we gear up the NATO Summit this weekend. Guests include:

NATO protest organizer Andy Thayer
Stylist and owner of Ikram fashion boutique Ikram Goldman
Chicago-based photographer Dawoud Bey
Performer and creator of the one-woman show "Jamaica Farewell" Debra Ehrhardt (interview with Chris Jones)
Musical guests David Hernandez and Street Sounds
Chicago Live! Almanac
Comedy from The Second City

Tickets for Chicago Live! are $18.00 and can be reserved here. Stick around after the show for cocktails and mingling with the writers and guests.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Opening Tonight! Andrea Martin and Seth Rudetsky at UP Comedy Club

Legendary Emmy®- and Tony®-Award winning comedienne Andrea Martin in her hilarious new one-woman show Final Days! Everything Must Go!! featuring musical accompanist and YouTube sensation Seth Rudetsky. From SCTV on television to Young Frankenstein on Broadway to My Big Fat Greek Wedding on screen, Andrea Martin brings a bounty of characters & decades of award-winning performances to this high-octane program.
Final Days! Everything Must GO!! is a 'tag sale' comedy and musical extravaganza, where everything is up for grabs in which Ms. Martin opens the book on her life in song, story and a bit of Greek dancing.

Click here to reserve tickets.

Want to know more about Andrea? Click here to see her on WGN News or here for her recent appearance on Chicago Tonight.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Second City's Cincinnati Cast Wins Best Ensemble Award from League of Cincinnati Theatres

Congratulations to Cody Dove, Sayjal Joshi, Amy Roeder, John Sabine, Tim Stoltenberg and Travis Turner for winning the "Best Ensemble" award from the League of Cincinnati Theatres for their work in The Second City 2: Less Pride...More Pork. The show will be running at the Cincinnati Playhouse through July 1st.

Read an article about the award, or buy tickets now.

Check out the video here!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Second City Announces Auditions for New Resident Teen Troupe

Teen publication, The Mash, invites teen readers to help name the youth company

The Second City is proud to announce auditions for its first resident teen company on June 1 and 2, 2012. Open to 13 to 17 year olds, this company will have a regular weekly performance spot at The Second City.  The new teen troupe will be sponsored in part by The Mash, Chicago Tribune's teenage media brand.

Teen Troupe Auditions will be held on Friday, June 1 (4:00 - 6:00pm) and Saturday, June 2, 2012 (10:00am - 5:00pm). Call backs to these auditions will be announced at a later date. Anyone in the age range of 13 - 17 may audition. The audition itself will primarily be made up of improvisation.

"In the past five years we've seen tremendous growth and incredible talent coming out of our youth classes and summer camps," says The Second City's CEO/Executive Producer Andrew Alexander. "It seemed only fitting that we provide more resources to these talented teens and a regular stage to share their unique voices."

Interested teens are invited to email a current picture (head shot if available) and your contact information (full name, age, email address and phone number - or a proper resume) ON THURSDAY, MAY 17 - 20 to: Subject line: Teen Troupe. Please note space is limited so we may not be able to accommodate all applicants. A waiting list will be taken.

The Mash - Chicago Tribune's teenage newspaper and journalism program - will help Second City encourage Chicago youth to suggest creative names for the new company. The Chicago-wide contest to name the new company will launch in The Mash newspaper and on on May 17th. The contest is open to teens only, ending June 10th, and prizes include Second City comedy packages, tickets, cash and a congratulatory ad in the newspaper.

"The Mash is thrilled to partner with Second City to help rally Chicago teens around this launch," says Mash General Manager, Maggie Wartik. "There's no better way to empower kids through creative expression than by putting the name itself into their hands, allowing them to be part of the artistic process. Second City's newest venture is especially exciting for us."

The Second City Training Center offers classes, workshops and camps for students ages 4-18, in improv, comedy writing, acting, music improv, physical comedy and video. During the summer months, Second City hosts over 700 teens from all over the world for 2 week camps focusing on sketch and improv. Second City is currently registering for summer camps which will run from June 11-August 31. Call 312-664-3959 for information or online at

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chicago Live! Returns to UP for Second All-Star Season

Chicago's best happy hour returns for a second unforgettable season at UP Comedy Club on Thursday, May 10 at 7:00p. Chicago Live! features guests fromthe worlds of arts, entertainment, sports and popular culture, as well as Chicago's top newsmakers with an opportunity to mingle with the guests at one of the best post-show receptions in town.

Each hour-long show is taped for WGN Radio to be aired Saturday nights and is based on the news of the week and the events of the city.

Click here to reserve your tickets.

Toronto Phones Down

Phone lines in our Toronto location are currently down. For tickets, please purchase online here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Columbia Chronicle Covers Our "Improv for Anxiety" Class

"To many, the pressure of jumping on stage and entertaining an audience with improvisation can induce anxiety. But Second City’s new “Improv for Anxiety Boot Camp” is aiming to do the opposite by using humor to treat the condition..."

To read the full article visit The Cloumbia Chronicle.

The first "Improv for Anxiety Boot Camp" session will began April 30 at the Second City comedy club, 1616 N. Wells St.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Congrats To Training Center Faculty Member John Hildreth On His 2012 Jeff Nomination!

The Jeff Committee, honoring excellence in Chicago theatres, selected John Hildreth as a nominee in the "Best New Adaptation" category for his work on "Watership Down" at Lifeline Theater. John teaches in the Improv, Writing, and Conservatory programs at The Second City Training Center and is running a specialty class called "Games! Games! Games" starting this Friday. For more information on classes, call 312.664.3959. To see the list of this years nominees, click here

About John Hildreth
John Hildreth is an alumnus of The Second City appearing in three revues at The Second City, Northwest including Casino Evil, three revues at The Second City, e.t.c. including White Water for Chocolate, and directing five consecutive revues for The Second City, Detroit including Generation X-Files. More recently he directed Second City...In Color at Theatre on the Lake and three revues with The Second City's Diversity and Outreach Program including Wii the People. John also recently appeared for The Second City as Roland Burris in Rod Blagojevich Superstar!, in Apparently Heaven Can't Wait: The Best of Jim Zulevic at The Second City, and in Disgruntled Employee Handbook: A Musical.

About The Second City Training Center
Chicago is the world capital of improvisation (improv) and sketch comedy, and The Second City is in the heart of it. For over fifty years The Second City has created a wealth of comedic material from a legendary group of performers. The Training Center follows the traditions developed by these groundbreaking and innovative men and women while encouraging the continued growth and development of the art forms of comedy and improvisation. Today, The Second City Training Center is the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world.

About the Jeff Awards
The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. The Jeff Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre.