Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Improv Diversity Starts at The Roots

Chicago's Tribune published a great story on diversity in the Chicago comedy community and highlighted the role of Second City's Outreach & Diversity program has played on increasing opportunities for people of color in comedy.

SC Alum David Koechner To Create & Star in Sketch Comedy for NBC

SC Alum, David Koechner to is lined up to create and star in  a new one-hour variety sketch show with NBC. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"SCTV" Stars Short, Levy and Martin to Reunite for NBC Series

Last month, NBC ordered 12 episodes of a new comedy starring Andrea Martin called Working the Engels for the 2014-15 TV season, and now, a couple of her SCTV costars will be turning up in guest spots. TV Line reports that Martin Short and Eugene Levy will both be guest starring on Andrea Martin's show during the first batch of 12 episodes.

The show stars Martin as Ceil Engel, a self-involved but loving mother who has to work with her kids to keep her recently-deceased husband's law firm afloat to keep the family out of debt. Short, who's set to star in the Fox sitcom Mulaney, will guest star as the head of a big pastry corporation who's involved in a lawsuit, and Levy will play the Engel family's neighbor who's in love with Ceil. The Kids in the Hall's Scott Thompson will be a regular cast member.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alums Ron West and Craig Cackowski Featured in New York Times

The New York Times Theater section featured some notable Scrooges this season including Second City alums Craig Cackowski (#5), currently starring in Portland Center Stages' production of "The Second City Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens" and Ron West (#61), currently starring in the Center Theater Group's production of "The Second City Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens."

Friday, December 6, 2013

SC Alums Grosz, Lutz and O'Malley Join Seth Meyers' "Late Night" Writing Staff

Second City resident and touring company alums Peter Grosz and John Lutz have joined the writing team for "Late Night with Seth Meyers" along with Second City Theatricals alum (Norwegian Cruise Line) Conner O'Malley. Can't wait to see what this crew comes up with!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Student Veterans Public Sleep Out 12/16

To address the alarming rate of veterans facing homelessness, the Student Veteran Society of Columbia College Chicago will be hosting a public sleep-out. The sleep-out will take place from noon on Monday December 16 and will last for 24 hours. The vets will be camped out at the Sculpture Garden on the northeast corner of 11th Ave and Wabash St.

All proceeds raised will be donated to the Eddie Beard Homeless Veterans' Housing Program, which serves as the Vet House for Inner Voice Chicago. A local nonprofit that provides temporary and permanent housing to homeless and and at-risk Veterans, as well as job training and job placement programs.

Close to 30% of all homeless people have served in the U.S. Armed Forces at some point in their life. We asked them to sacrifice so much for us and when they return home our heroes are reduced to living on the streets. Veterans Day just passed by, but the issues the veteran community is facing cannot be addressed in one day.

The Eddie Beard Vet House currently has 15 Veteran residents enrolled in its program, which is the max capacity currently available. It costs between $900-$1000 per month to feed, clothe and house each Veteran. In addition to these standard costs of living, the Vet House is in need of a new freezer, pots/pans and other kitchen utensils, as well as personal electronics for the Veterans themselves, as many of them are currently receiving computer skills classes in order to help them with their job searches.

Any amount donated to this event will be given directly to the Veterans currently residing at the Eddie Beard Vet House and will help contribute to paying for their costs of living as well as helping them buy the necessary tools in order to successfully complete the program and find full-time work again.

More information on Inner Voice and their Veterans initiatives can be found here. You can also follow frequent updates on their Facebook Page.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bring a Friend To Class: New Workshop 12/14 or 12/16

We’re changing our Bring a Friend to Class campaign. If you are in Level A, B or C and want to show your friend how much fun you are having, book a space for you and your friend to attend ONE of these two workshops!

Friday, December 13th 6-8:30pm OR Saturday, December 14th 12-2:30pm.

Your friend will receive a $10 off coupon for a new class registration and if your friend signs up for a course, then YOU receive our $25 "Refer A Friend" discount off your next registration.

Please book a space for you and your friend with Allana,
Space is limited.

Holiday Intensives Added for Youth and Adult Students Staying in Chicago

If you are staying in Chicago for the Holidays, The Second City Training Center has you covered!

Intensives in Improv, Writing and more are open for all ages. Check out some of the classes below.

Basic Writing with The Onion 3-day Intensive • DEC. 16 – 18
Improv 1 Week-long Immersion • DEC. 16 – 20
Writing 1 Week-long Immersion • DEC 16 – 20
Voiceover Intensive • DEC 16
Voiceover Intensive • DEC 20
Improv & Writing 3-day Intensive • DEC. 20 – 22
All Improv 3-day Intensive • DEC. 26 – 28

Fun Fuuuuuun Find the F-ing Fun with Andel Sudik • DEC 12
Writers' Room: Breaking the Story with Caitlin Kunkel • DEC 15



Tuition & 2013/14 Dates
Improvisation & Clowning (3 days) - $200, December 26-28, 2013
Improvisation & Standup (3 days) - $200, December 26-28, 2013
Improvisation & Clowning (5 days) - $350 $280*, December 30, 2013-January 3, 2014
Improvisation & Standup (5 days) - $350 $280*, December 30, 2013-January 3, 2014
*Winter Break Camps will not meet on New Year's Day, January 1. Tuition has been prorated accordingly


Andrew Thorp
The Second City Training Center
Marketing and Promotions Manager

Check out our FAQ page with info on directions, parking, moving to Chicago and more:

Second City Nominated for Three BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards

Second City has been nominated for three BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards.
  • Edgar Blackmon for Best Actor in a Musical or Revue (Resident or Equity) for "Let Them Eat Chaos
  • "Let Them Eat Chaos" for Best Revue (Resident) 
  • "The Second City Guide to The Opera" with the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Best Revue (Resident)
 For more information about the nominees and the voting process, please visit

Toronto Impulse Festival to Include Many SC Alums

From December 12-15th in Toronto will be hosting the first annual IMPULSE Festival at The Young Centre For The Performing Arts in the Distillery presented by The National Theatre of The World in association with Soulpepper Theatre. They are bringing in improv artists from eight different countries (India, France, U.K., U.S.A., Australia, and Austria) and they will be performing showcases and Mashups with each other throughout.

A huge part of the event is a 55 hour long improvised soap opera marathon that will take place from Friday, December 13th at 3:00pm and end at 10:00pm on Sunday, December 15th. All proceeds of the "Soap-a-thon" will go directly to Gilda's Club Greater Toronto. The line-up will include a number of Second City alums, including Colin Mochrie.

For more information go to:


Monday, December 2, 2013

SC Alum Maribeth Monroe Cast in HBO Pilot "The Brink"

SC Alum, Maribeth Monroe, has been cast in the new HBO pilot "The Brink." Directed by Jay Roach, executive producer is Jerry Weintraub and lead actors include Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Pablo Schrieber. Read more details here.

Living Room Show Benefit Featuring SC Alums & SNL Cast Members

For the past decade, Jeff Tweedy has been auctioning off private "Living Room" concerts during The Second City's 24-hour improv/music marathon, raising more than a half million dollars for disadvantaged Chicago families. This year, we are selling tickets to Our Living Room Show, an intimate benefit with comedy from Second City alumni, Saturday Night Live cast members and a 90-minute set from Jeff Tweedy. The show will be featuring Jeff Tweedy & Second City Alumni Aidy Bryant, Kevin Dorff, TJ Jagodowski, Beth Melewski, Mike O'Brien, Tim Robinson, Tami Sagher, Horatio Sanz and Cecily Strong.

200 standard seating tickets for Our Living Room Show are $300 each and go on sale Monday, Dec. 2nd at 10 a.m. here.

35 front row tickets ($500) and 23 premium rail seats $1000)  will be available on December 17 IN PERSON ONLY at "The Second City That Never Sleeps: 24 Hour."

Monday, January 6th, 2014
7:00 P.M. / Doors Open 6:00 P.M.
Up Comedy Club
For tickets: Visit or call (312) 662-4562*

Click for more information:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Second City Gift Cards: #1 On Everyone's Wish List

As we all start to prepare for the annual holiday shopping extravaganza, we suggest you think about how you can make this easier on yourself - gift cards. Who doesn't love a night out filled with fun and laughter? Does someone you know think they're hilarious and want to take a comedy class? A gift card sure would be a thoughtful gift, wouldn't it? Who knows, you could give the gift card that kickstarts the next Tina Fey's comedy career. We think that's just swell. If you do too, you can order gift cards online or call 312-337-3992.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Second City Alumni Katie Rich Added to SNL Writing Staff

Congratulations to Katie Rich on her move from The Second City Mainstage in Chicago to the writing staff of Saturday Night Live, NBC's Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy showcase, currently in their 39th Season.

"After writing and performing in three exceptional revues for The Second City Mainstage, we are thrilled that Katie has an opportunity to join the writing staff of SNL. Katie is a terrific talent and we wish her all the best in this next stage of her wonderful career," states Andrew Alexander, CEO & Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

SC Training Center Graduate Jay Leggett Passes Away

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Jay Leggett - actor, improviser, director and screenwriter. Jay graduated from The Second City Training Center in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles to join the cast of Fox TV's "In Living Color." Jay wrote and produced for film and television, and directed Toronto's long-running production of "Tony N' Tina's Wedding." Services have not yet been announced.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Second City Announces 2013 Lineup for 24-Hour Improv & Music Marathon

The Second City That Never Sleeps: 24 Hour (formerly known as The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa) runs non-stop from Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. until Wednesday, December 18th at 6:00 p.m. in The Second City e.t.c. Theatre, 1608 N. Wells Street, 2nd floor of Piper’s Alley.

Prepare to fa-la-la-la-la all day and all night with an all-star lineup of comedy and music powerhouses: SNL vet and Portlandia’s Fred Armisen will join a host of Second City performers and alumni for the improvised festivities. Internet phenomenon Lil Bub (the world’s most amazing cat) will make her long-awaited Second City debut.

Musicians ready to rock include: Bob Mould (Husker Dü, Sugar), Bonnie Prince Billy, Sally Timms (The Mekons), Chicago’s own J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound and The Hungry Pilgrims. Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Bush and St. Vincent will join the party live via video chat, as will Louise Post and Nina Gordon (Veruca Salt) for their first performance together in 15 years.

One-of-a-kind items up for auction at 24 Hour include two tickets to an SNL taping and a recording session with prolific music producer Steve Albini at his private Chicago studio.

Audience members of 24 Hour will have first access to purchase tickets to an exclusive evening at the Up Comedy Club on January 6th, 2014, featuring improv and sketch comedy from SNL cast members and distinguished Second City alumni, followed by an intimate “living room”-style performance by Jeff Tweedy. Ticket sales will also support Onward Neighborhood House.
Tickets to The Second City That Never Sleeps: 24 Hour are $20 and will be sold at the door throughout the event as long as seats are available. Doors open Tuesday, 12/17 at 5:00 p.m. The event will also be streamed LIVE at or Donations via PayPal are appreciated. 24 Hour is an all-ages show. Chicago liquor and curfew laws apply.

For more information, updates and the complete schedule, visit,, or contact The Second City Box Office at (312) 337-3992. Follow @TheSecondCity on Twitter. Onward Neighborhood House empowers families and individuals in need to achieve their full potential in a community-based setting.

Ethan Krupp (Current Student) and Kimmie Companik-Warner (Faculty Member) Get Commercial Retweeted By President Obama

Congrats to current Musical Improv Conservatory student, Ethan Krupp, and Beginning Improvisation faculty member, Kimmie Companik-Warner, on their national commercial featured on BuzzFeed, CNN and retweeted by President Obama! Watch the video below.

About Kimmie Companik-Warner : Kimmie moved to Chicago in 1993 to pursue her one true passion, improvisation. She is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory, iO, and The Annoyance. Currently, Kimmie is an associate faculty member of The Second City Training Center and teaches with The Second City Artist in Residence program. She instructs at Act One Studios and Emerald City Theater, and also participates in the Chicago Public School system's mentoring program. She has performed countless shows in Chicago's premiere comedy circuits and has also directed at various venues across the city. She is a founding member of two sketch comedy groups, Dolphins of Damnation and The Smart Set. Kimmie firmly believes that the principles of improv can make people happier, communities healthier, and the world a better place.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

SCTV Alum Andrea Martin to Star in New NBC Comedy

NBC is co-producing 12 half hour episodes of Working the Engels, starring SCTV alum Andrea Martin. Read the full story here.

Key & Peele Talk About Time at SC on The Daily Show

Check out SC alum Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele on The Daily Show talking about their time in Chicago and at Second City!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SC Alum Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele Team Up With Judd Apatow

It's happening. SC alum Keegan Michael-Key and comedy partner, Jordan Peele, are teaming up with Judd Apatow to write an untitled feature comedy to star Key and Peele. Read more here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

TBS Orders Police Procedural Spoof Pilot from SC Alum Steve Carell

It was just announced that TBS has ordered a "police procedural spoof" from SC alum Steve Carell and his wife, Nancy Carell. The satirical comedy is titled "Tribeca" and will be written and produced by Steve and Nancy Carell, directed by Steve Carell. Read more here.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Second City Takes Home Two Jeff Awards

Last night we attended The 45th Annual Jeff Awards and we are so honored to say that we won for both Best Production - Revue and Best Director - Revue for "The Second City's Guide to the Opera."What a great evening and congratulations to all winners and nominees!

Student Focus Night with Derek McGrath 11/6

Join us at The Second City Training Centre on Wednesday, November 6th at 9pm for STUDENT FOCUS NIGHT!

Have your questions answered and hear stories told by one of Canada's legendary actors in this FREE evening in The John Candy Box Theatre

McGrath was born in Timmins, Ontario. He is known for his roles in Cheers as "Andy-Andy" Schroeder (the would-be strangler of one Diane Chambers), Dr. Benjamin Jeffcoate in My Secret Identity, Crewman Chell in Star Trek: Voyager, and as Dr. Derek Hebert in Doc. McGrath also played Buck the dog in a fantasy sequence in a second season episode of Married... with Children and a mutant in the 1993 comedy film Freaked. He most recently appeared in a recurring role as the character of Anglican priest Duncan Magee in the CBC Television sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie. In 2002, he narrated the National Film Board of Canada short The Hungry Squid, which won the Genie Award for Best Animated Short.[1] In the 1970s, he was a prominent actor on TVOntario educational programming, most notably Mathmakers. He currently voices Mr. McFeely in Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

To reserve a spot, please email:

Check out the Facebook event.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Student Spotlight: Writing 6 Grads Talk About Skybox Show 'Kiss My Past' with Nancy Fast

Writing 6 Grads Christina Honan, Katie Stasiak and Jill Frank stop by the Training Center Office to talk with Nancy Fast about their latest Skybox show, 'Kiss My Past'
Saturdays at 7:30 PM Oct 26, Nov 2, 9 & 16

Listen to the Podcast!

Starring: Sheena Laird, Damian Jason White, Miguel Lepe, Chris Hauser, Lauren Summers, Laura Marsh and Meg Grunewald
Written by Hot Town Comedy: Amanda Fawley, Jill Frank, Christina Honan, Matt Lynch, Abbie Lynch, Kevin O'Brien, Katie Stasiak and Ruby Vega
Directed by: Aaron Sjoholm
Musical Director: Tilliski Ramey
Technical Director: Keri Mack
Saturdays at 7:30 PM |Oct 26, Nov 2, 9 & 16
Tickets: $13 General Admission, $10 for students, $8 for SCTC students

Thursday, October 31, 2013

NBC Picks Up Comedy Series from SC Alum Tina Fey

SC Alum Tina Fey and 30 Rock co-executive producer Robert Carlock will be back on NBC next fall with a new New York-based single-camera series starring another familiar NBC face, The Office alumna Ellie Kemper. The network has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to the untitled project, written by Fey and Carlock. It will center on a woman (Kemper) who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York City. Universal TV and Fey’s studio-based Little Stranger are producing, with Fey, Carlock and 3 Arts’ David Miner executive producing. Read the full story.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bob Derkach Heads up New Horizon Message Initiative

Bob Derkach, musical director alum of Toronto Mainstage with a DVDROM currently on-board the Phoenix Lander in the northern plains of planet Mars, has been appointed to the advisory board of the New Horizons Message Initiative. The aim is to send a global message into interstellar space via the New Horizons spacecraft which will rendezvous with Pluto and its moons in 2015.  Bob invites all Second Citizens to help in this mission by signing a petition to NASA to green-light this amazing project. Please check out the website and sign the petition.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

SC Alum Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood Take Comedy On Tour

Fresh off a new season of everyone's favourite TV improv show, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Colin Mochrie (a Second City Mainstage alumn) and Brad Sherwood are touring the world with their completely made-up comedy!

Catch their show in Toronto on Wednesday, October 30 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Learn more about the evening here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Second City Student, Michael Bloomquist, Has Pilot Named Finalist For Hollywood Screenplay Contest

Conservatory Graduate and current Skybox Performer, Michael Bloomquist, created a pilot entitled "The Perfect Cover" that has been named a finalist for the Hollywood Screenplay Contest, one of the world's most visible and recognized screenplay competitions, regarded among the leading international awards honoring excellence in screenwriting. It has also been named a quarter-finalist for the Final Draft Big Break screenwriting contest, which represents the top 12% of 6,669 entries. For my category I'm placed in the top 10% so far. Decisions on semi-finalists and finalists are coming the next few weeks.

"The Perfect Cover" is a half-hour mockumentary sitcom about four KGB agents living in Mankato, MN during the Cold War, in 1982. As part of their cover they run a bed and breakfast called The Perfect Cover. It's told completely through hidden cameras set up by the KGB. Interviews are conducted with the characters in present day.

About Michael:
After attending film schools in North Carolina and California, Michael decided to focus on comedy and moved to Chicago to do improv. Improv wasn't his only passion, however. Michael has been writing consistently; putting up sketch shows, writing for live late night talk shows, and writing spec scripts and pilots for TV. Last year, he took a well reviewed two-man sketch show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest open access arts festival in the world.

For more info or to register for classes, call 312.664.3959 or visit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chicago Live! With Rick Kogan and The Second City - 11.14.13

Rick Kogan is taking Chicago Live! – and the top stories and faces of the Chicago Tribune – back to the south suburbs. Meet Rick on Thursday November 14th at 7:00pm and enjoy a special evening of interviews, musical performances and comedy featuring The Second City.

To purchase tickets, visit the Governors State University box office.

Special Guests Include:

  • Music by The Otis Clay Revue
  • Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey, returning WGN Radio favorites of the "Kathy & Judy" show
  • Glassblower Charles Lotton and more.

Chicago Live! is taped for broadcast on WGN Radio.

SC's Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton Speak at Chicago Ideas Week

Meet Your Favorite Celebrities
And Learn Something New with FREE and Discounted Tickets to Chicago Ideas Week!

Are you a fan of Iron Chef? Want an autographed book from your favorite author? Curious as to what a Sex and the City actress has to do with preserving our planet?

Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) is thrilled to invite you to its seven-day innovation festival where The Second City’s very own CEO Tom Yorton and Executive Vice President Kelly Leonard will be taking the stage at Work: The Remix Master Class. As part of The Second City community, you can snag one of 75 free tickets to the Oct. 16 event by using the promo code CIW2CITY13! Just visit, select your event and type it in.

CIW runs Oct. 14 – 20, and the below are just some of the other speakers and select promo codes for you to take advantage of starting next week.

  • Kristin Davis – Hear Charlotte from Sex and the City share how she’s helping save wildlife, and how you can help at Environment: Conserve and Protect. Save 25% Code: CIW13ENVM 
  • Gary Sinise – You may know this award-winning actor and veterans’ advocate as Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump, but listen as he reveals how traditional jobs are changing forever at Work: Fueling Performance. Save 25% Code: CIW1325WORK
  • Elizabeth Smart – This kidnapping victim survived her nine-month ordeal and is using it to help others. Hear more at Instigators: The Good Fight. Save 25% Code: CIW13INSTG
  • Dan Savage ­­– This renowned author found a unique way to make the world a better place. Find out how and join him at Instigators: The Good Fight. Save 25% Code: CIW13INSTG
  • David Gregory – The host of NBC’s Meet the Press has interviewed countless presidents and political movers and shakers. Get his take the status of our country during Politics: State of our Union.
  • Mike Posner – Hear this singer, songwriter and producer share how artists keep their fan base in an evolving music industry at Music: Evolution of the Artist.
  • Marc Geiger – Love Lollapalooza? Meet the guy who started it and heads WME’s music department, which represents everyone from Lady Gaga to Nine Inch Nails, at Music: Evolution of the Artist.
  • Rex Walheim – Hear what it’s like to be in space from an astronaut who has done it all at Next: Tomorrow, Today.
  • Brad Keywell – Be the first to know about the future of business and why entrepreneurship is so freaking exciting from CIW’s founder and the co-founder of Groupon and Lightbank at Entrepreneurship: How I Did It.
  • Terry McMillan – She wrote Waiting to Exhale and left a legacy in the process. Hear what inspired her at Storytellers: The Written Word. Save 25% Code: CIW13STRY
Check out a full list of our events at – we can’t wait to Think Out Loud with you starting Oct. 14!

CANDYBOX CRUNCH: The Improv Elimination tournament is back!

Starting Friday Oct 18th and running every Friday until the winning team is crowned, the John Candy Box will be hosting it’s very own improv battle.

Teams of two, three and four improvisers will be given 20 minutes to wow the audience. Team will include folks ranging from experienced Second City alumni, faculty and students to those who are newcomers to our community. Each show will consist of three teams duking it out head to head in the spirit of friendly competition. Each audience member will be given one ballot and can vote for who they believe is the most deserving to win the night and move on to the next round.

There is a minimum $250 cash prize for the tournament champions. Come on out, vote and get involved in what is sure to be an exciting competition.

Follow all the updates on Facebook !

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Second City Student and On-Air Personality, Brian Elles, Flies With Chicago Air and Water Show Pilot

With support from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with the City of Chicago Mayor's Office, Brian Elles, the Host and Producer of Chi-Town Podcast, was asked to partake in media days for the Chicago Air & Water Show.

The media day resulted in an in air demo flight for himself as well as Chi-Town Podcast Videographer, Steve Bartles. The short video segment of the podcast highlights key Chicago landmarks such as the Willis (Sears) Tower, Navy Pier and Solider Field as well as advanced aerial maneuvers and stunts.

About Brian:
A graduate of The Second City’s Improv for Actors Program, Brian Elles continues to create new content with fresh perspectives. Previously working for network television and radio outlets, Brian combines his past media experiences with his entrepreneurial attitude to deliver a new video-podcast called Chi-Town Podcast. With direct support and access from the City of Chicago Mayor's Office as well as Comedy Central Networks, Brian continues to create unique content with a fresh perspective.

Images and previous videos can be accessed on his YouTube channel

For more info or to register for classes, call 312.664.3959 or visit

The Second City's Improv for Actors Program

SC Toronto Alums Clean Up At Canadian Comedy Awards

Congratulations to a slew of Second City Toronto alums who all walked away winners from last night's Canadian Comedy Awards including: Colin Mochrie, Jim Annan, Naomi Snieckus, Stacey McGunnigle, Jason DeRosse, Jan Caruana, Robin Duke and the folks from "Space Janitors" (Best Web Series), "A Little Bit Zombie" (Best Screenplay) and "Mantown" (Best Improv Troupe).

We couldn't be more proud!

Friday, October 4, 2013

4th Annual Open House celebration on Saturday, October 19

Join us on Saturday, October 19th for our ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE from 1pm-5pm.

There'll be face painting, candy, popcorn, a photobooth, and of course the opportunity to participate in all sorts of awesome workshops and see shows in The John Candy Box Theatre for FREE!


This is an awesome chance for you to try out that class you've wondered about for so long and bring friends and family who might be interested in seeing what happens at The Second City Training Centre!

Spaces in the workshops are limited, so it's first come first served! Hint: *show up early

(45 minutes each)

1pm – Adult Improv
Stand Up

2pm – Adult Improv
Stand Up
All ages Drop In
Musical Improv Drop In

3pm – Adult Improv
Stand Up

4pm – Adult Improv
Stand UpM


3pm- The Second City's Education Company Show: Zombie Bootcamp #NightoftheLearningDead

4pm- Musical Conservatory Show Starring Conservatory 4 and 5!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

John Mulaney's New Series Stars SC Alum Martin Short

FOX has picked up Saturday Night Live alum, John Mulaney's, multi-camera project for at least six episodes. SC Alum, Martin Short, is slated to star alongside John Mulaney. Read on for more details about "Mulaney."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bernie's Memorial: Celebrated by Hundreds

A big thank you to the hundreds of those who came out to celebrate Bernie Sahlins last night. Chris Jones from the Chicago Tribune wrote up a lovely recap of last night's activities. We were also very fortunate to have such friends and alums join us as Colin Mochrie, Bill Murray, John Mahoney, Geoffrey Palmer, Joan Allen, William Petersen, Amy Morton and many more.

Thank you to all. It was a night to be remembered.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bernie Sahlins' Memorial is Tonight

Due to the overwhelming number of RSVPs for Bernie's Memorial, we have reached our capacity and are unable to take additional reservations.

However, as a reminder for those who have already RSVP'd, the memorial will be at Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier tonight, September 30th at 6:30pm. The address to the theater is 800 E Grand Avenue, Chicago IL 60611.

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Super Fun Night with Second City Training Centre Alum Lauren Ash!

Super Fun Night is a brand new comedy on ABC following three single ladies who have set aside every Friday night as "Friday Fun Night." The show will star Rebel Wilson, Liza Lapira and Lauren Ash.

Lauren Ash is an alumnus of the Second City Toronto and Chicago Mainstage as well as a Second City Training Centre Conservatory Graduate.

Watch the premiere on ABC Wednesday October 2nd at 9:30pm!

Check out the "Super Fun Night" trailer.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Congratulations to SC Alum Emmy Award Winners

Congratulations to this year’s Emmy Award Winners including a Second City resident and touring company alumni including Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Tom Purcell.

The 65th Annual Emmy’s were held last night on CBS. Click here for a complete list of winners.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bernie Sahlins' Memorial Update

Just a reminder, if you would like to attend Bernie Sahlins' memorial,
please RSVP at the link below or call the CST Media Office.

September 30, 2013
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier
800 E. Grand Ave. | Chicago, IL 60611

Click here to RSVP  or call the CST Media Office at 312.667.4968 by
Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Judy Fabjance Fundraiser on September, 21st

One of our longtime employees and friends in Chicago, Judy Fabjance, has been battling breast cancer for some time, which she just learned has now spread to her brain.

If you'd like to help Judy and her family while she's in treatment, there's a fundraiser, this Saturday, September 21st and there is also the opportunity to get involved with Team Judy in Chicago through Helping Hands.

We will be sending out weekly emails with updates regarding Helping Hands and the upcoming fundraiser. If you would like to be included on this email, please email Hope Hudson at

Second City's Producing 101 Class Receives Press Attention

Second City's Training Center has been churning out talent for years, however, now it's also teaching students the basic elements of how to put up a show.

Producing 101" is being taught by Angie McMahon and shows students what steps they need to take in order to bring a show idea from start to stage, financially, creatively and more. Paul Biasco has taken an extra interest in Angie's class and did a full write-up of it for DNAinfo Chicago.

If you're interested in taking Angie's Producing 101 or her new Producing 102, let us know by either emailing or calling 312.664.3959.

Monday, September 16, 2013

SNL Adds Mike O'Brien to Feature Cast and Cecily Strong Joins Weekend Update

Congratulations to Mike O’Brien on his move to feature cast and Cecily Strong for joining the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live, NBC's Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy showcase, for their 39th Season.

"We are always thrilled with the success of our alumni and we wish them all the best this season on SNL," stated Andrew Alexander, CEO & Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc.

Mike O’Brien graduated from The Second City Training Center Conservatory Program.  He worked with The Second City Touring Company as a performer and director. In December 2008, he opened America: All Better! at The Second City’s legendary Mainstage Theater in Chicago.  The following summer, he was hired from The Second City stage to join the writing staff of Saturday Night Live.

After studying at The Second City Training Center in the Conservatory Program, Cecily Strong performed with Second City Theatricals and was a member of The Second City Touring Company when she was hired last season to Saturday Night Live.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with the Creators of the "Kickstart WWIII" Video

On Monday, September 9th, The Second City Network released the "Kickstart WWIII" parody video. took a few minutes to chat with Jeph Porter and John Loos, the creative minds behind this insanely successful viral video. Take a look at what they had to say.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SC Alum Mike Myers' Directorial Debut

SC Alum, Mike Myers, will be releasing "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon,"his directorial debut film tomorrow. Read his interview with Deadline to learn more about the film and how he has brought to life all of these characters we have come to know and love.

Congratulations and best of luck Mike!

SC Alum Kay Cannon Lands New CBS Pilot

SC Alum, Kay Cannon has teamed up with Jason Winer (Modern Family) to produce a new pilot for CBS, titled "The Runt."

"The Runt is a single camera comedy about a group of five adult siblings from the point of view of The Runt. Always the scrawniest and the butt of the joke, she’s now the most successful. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to break the family dynamics established when she was a kid."

Sounds like a great premise, we can't wait to see what's in store for these two, congratulations!

Read more here.

Congratulations to SC Alum Bob Odenkirk on "Breaking Bad" Spinoff

SC Alum, Bob Odenkirk, will be playing Saul Goodman in "Breaking Bad's" new spinoff, "Better Call Saul." Congratulations on the new show Bob, we can't wait to see it!

Help Kickstart WWIII

In response to recent world events, The Second City Network has joined forces to start a campaign to help President Obama kickstart WWIII. This "Kickstart WWII" video has become such a sensation that it reached over 1MM views within the first 72 hours of being live. It has also attracted the attention of Sean Hannity, from Fox News, as it aired on "Hannity" Wednesday evening, September 11th. The Daily Beast has also published a write up on the campaign to help promote our cause.

What an overwhelming response! Looks like we may just be able to help Obama kickstart WWIII afterall!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Second City Communications On Using Humor To Make Online Training Stick!

Second City Communications On Using Humor To Make Online Training Stick!
Lessons in Social Learning Effectiveness at Training Magazine’s Online Learning Conference

Chicago, September 11, 2013 – Second City Communications (SCC) takes the stage at the annual Online Learning Conference 2013 to showcase how comedy and improvisation can drive stronger results in social learning programs.

The business solutions division of the world-renowned improvisation comedy theater, The Second City, is a featured presenter at the annual conference by Training magazine on September 18 in Chicago. The conference runs from September 17-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Lakeside Center.

"Improvisation and short-form comedy are great social learning solutions for breaking down barriers and getting people deeply engaged in training programs – both online and off,” said Tom Yorton, CEO of Second City Communications. “We live in a YouTube era of short attention spans – and humor’s a powerful tool for focusing on what’s really going on – speaking the truth and connecting with audiences. More and more training professionals now get that and are using it to engage audiences to drive training results,” Yorton added.

More information about Training magazine’s Online Learning Conference 2013 is at:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SC Alum Valerie Harper to Appear on Dancing With The Stars

SC Alum Valerie Harper is scheduled to appear on the next season of "Dancing With The Stars." We're very excited for her!

Second City Shows Pull in 7 Jeff Nominations

Congratulations to The Second City casts and crews of "Let Them Eat Chaos," "A Clown Car Named Desire" and "The Second City Guide to The Opera" on 7 Jeff Nominations! We're so excited and so proud!

The 45th Annual Jeff Equity Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area will be Monday, November 4 at Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bernie Sahlins Memorial Update

Thank you all for your inquiries regarding Bernie Sahlins' memorial. Please see below for more information and if you are able to attend, please RSVP at the link below.

September 30, 2013
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier
800 E. Grand Ave. | Chicago, IL 60611

Click here to RSVP  or call the CST Media Office at 312.667.4968 by
Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ABC Buys Family Comedy From SC Alum Brian Gallivan

ABC just purchased a "single-camera comedy" from The McCarthy's creator and Second City alum Brian Gallivan and co-executive producer Will Gluck.

The untitled project reunites the auspices behind CBS pilot The McCarthys: writer/executive producer Gallivan, Sony TV and executive producer Will Gluck and his Sony-based Olive Bridge Prods. The new project centers on an overworked father dreaming of being “on vacation all year” who decides to uproot his family from the city and move them to New Hampshire where they open a group of tourist cottages. And where they rarely, if ever, feel like they’re on vacation. Gallivan, who hails from New England (he grew up in the Boston area where he taught middle school language arts before embarking on a comedy career), will write the script and will executive produce with Gluck and Olive Bridge’s Richie Schwartz.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Actor Kevin Allison to Lead Storytelling Masterclass

Kevin Allison, founder of The Story Studio, RISK! podcast, and ensemble member of MTV's The State, will visit the Chicago Training Center to show students how to wow a crowd with their story. Students will learn how to select compelling story topics, use the “five beat” structure to build suspense, and tap into the larger thematic meaning of their ideas.

This one-day workshop will be held on Thursday, September 26 from 10am-5pm. Registration is open to everyone. For more information, visit the class information page.

Kevin Allison has been a regular on VH1's hit series Best Week Ever and was a writing and performing member of The State, the legendary sketch comedy group best known for The State on MTV, which The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Details called the funniest sketch show on the air. Recent film and TV appearances include Reno 911!: Miami, The Ten, The Next Girl I See and HBO's Flight of the Conchords.

*You can also see Kevin and RISK! at UP Comedy Club the night before at 8pm. Details here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Congrats to Second City Student and Volunteer, Tunisha Hubbard, for Booking a Ford Commercial

When she isn’t acting in high-profile commercials, Tunisha Hubbard can be found welcoming new students to the Training Center, working the box office for student shows and improvising with friends. Tunisha’s kindness and ability to think quick on her feet make her a valuable volunteer and fun scene partner. You can check out her Ford Focus commercial here:

The Second City Training Center is now registering students for classes in Improv, Acting, Comedy Writing and more. Visit for more info

Comedian Ever Mainard to Lead Class on Riffing

Comedian, Ever Mainard, is slated to lead a two-hour workshop called "Get Riffed! Riffing for Stand-Ups and Storytellers." Techniques in this course will give performers the confidence to take a topic and run with it. Participants will use improvisation to find new angles, expand old jokes and connect with the audience.

This workshop will be offered on Saturday, September 14 at 4pm. Registration is open to all students, but previous improv or stand-up experience is recommended. For more information, visit the class information page.

Ever Mainard is one of Chicago’s top stand-up comedians. Chicago Magazine named her one of the top 100 comics and Gaper’s Block credited her as one of the Most Influential Women in Chicago Comedy. She performs regularly at The Beat Kitchen and is a co-producer and host of “The Shit Show.” Ever has worked with Maria Bamford, Nick Thune, Greg Berhandt, Bill Dwyer, and many others, and her work has been seen on, The Apiary, NPR, and The Onion’s A.V. Club.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Second City on Freakonomics Podcast

Yesterday's "Middle of Everywhere" Freakonomics Podcast was all about Chicago and they talked about The Compass Players and the beginning of Second City. Listen to the full podcast for complete details.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Get Ready: Chicago Air and Water Show - Aug. 17 & 18

If you're planning on coming to a show this weekend or take a class, remember that the Chicago Air & Water Show is scheduled this weekend (August 17 & 18) from 10:00am - 3:00pm at North Ave. Beach. Give yourself a little extra time to get to the theater and since parking will be limited in the area, click here to find the best public transportation options or take a cab.

Still need to book your tickets for this weekend? Click here for a complete list of performances.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

SC Continues Laughter with "The Good, The Bad and The I-5"

Chicago Second City Theatricals team has sent out a dynamite cast to takeover the La Jolla Playhouse from August 6 - September 1 with an original, sidesplitting tribute to San Diego, about San Diego - "The Good, The Bad and The I-5." It has been getting rave reviews from a number of publications and we just wanted to send our congratulations to everyone out on the west coast!

– Gary Zeidner, Boulder Weekly

– Ted Pappas, Artistic Director Pittsburgh Public Theatre

Second City Skewers San Diego

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Colin Mochrie Releases New Book "Not Quite the Classics"

Second City Toronto alum, Colin Mochrie, just released a new book titled, "Not Quite the Classics." Colin Mochrie, a man known worldwide for working without a script, has penned a collection of stories destined to make its own mark in the literary community. Borrowing from a well-known improv game, Mochrie takes the first and last lines from familiar classics and reimagines everything in between. With the same engaging humour he exhibits on stage, television, and film, he takes the reader in bizarre and hilarious new directions, using the original writer's words as a launch and landing point. Imagine A Tale of Two Cities in which Wile E. Coyote gets his revenge on the Road Runner, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat with zombies, or The Night Before Christmas with a time travelling twist. Imagine Sherlock Holmes devising a foolproof method for eliciting laughter and then taking the stage at a Victorian comedy club in Old London...

You can buy the e-book on Amazon now and the print edition will be available this Fall.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Congratulations to This Year’s Emmy Nominees

Congratulations to this year’s Emmy Award Nominees including a host of Second City resident and touring company alumni including Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Tina Fey, Joe Kelly, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Jane Lynch, Mike O’Brien, Amy Poehler, Tom Purcell, and Jeff Richmond. 

The 65th Annual Emmy’s will be broadcast live on Sunday, Sept. 22 on CBS. Click here for a complete list of nominees.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"America All Better" at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Extended

Woolly Mammoth announced that its fifth collaboration with Chicago’s Second City, America All Better!, is a box office hit, earning it a two week extension.
The all new revue now runs through August 18, 2013. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online by phone – 202-393-3939 – via email at, and in person at the Box Office, located at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Second City Training Center Volunteer Team Celebrates Its 200th Event

In just 16 months, over 100 Second City students have participated in more than 200 events to help Chicago non-profit organizations and partners. Quick Stats
  • Over 45 dogs walked and socialized with Safe Humane Chicago.
  • Over 100 4-12 year-olds taught improv games at Chicago Cares, House of Good Shepherd, Lurie’s Childrens’ Hospital and more.
  • Over 200 pounds of organic vegetables harvested with Ginkgo Gardens.
  • Over 10 cat costume appearances at Treehouse Humane Society Events.
  • Over $10,000 in volunteer credits redeemed for TC classes.

In late 2011, The Second City Training Center created ‘The Second City Dream Team,’ an organization that offers current students the opportunity to volunteer with The Second City and local non-profit partners and receive class discounts for each event worked. The Dream Team has become a huge hit and now participates in over 20 events a month all over the city. Non-profit organizations have found that asking students of comedy to lend a hand has provided great results. As skilled improvisers, Dream Team members think quick on their feet, are ready for any challenge, and always bring a positive attitude. And with their vast volunteer ensemble the Dream Team is always looking for new partners!
Safe Humane Chicago’s Executive Director, Cynthia Bathhurst, says, "Safe Humane Chicago has the privilege of having the continued and dedicated support from the amazing (and fun!) volunteers from the Second City Training Center. They play a crucial role in our Court Case Dog Program with Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC). They dedicate their time, kindness, compassion and attention to dogs who arrive at CACC as “evidence” in criminal court cases or investigations and become part of our program to socialize, train and improve the quality of their lives until we help transfer them to partner rescues and ensure their success in loving homes.

Every Saturday, you can see SC students pulling weeds and planting organic crops at Ginkgo Gardens, an organization that gives its organic harvest to low-income residents carrying HIV. If you see a human-sized cat waving to you at a Treehouse Humane Society event, chances are it’s a Dream Team volunteer helping kitties find homes. Stop by for a Second City Training Center student show and odds are a Second City Dream Team member is helping you get tickets.

About The Second City Training Center: 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, offerings courses for all ages and experience levels.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jeff Garlin to Debut New Film "Dealin' With Idiots" in Chicago

Curb Your Enthusisam's Jeff Garlin will be in Chicago this weekend for the opening of his new film "Dealin' With Idiots" at The Music Box Theatre. Showings will be at 7:20pm both Friday and Saturday evenings. Garlin directed, co-wrote, and stars in the film along with Gina Gershon, Jami Gertz, Christopher Guest, Bob Odenkirk, Nia Vardalos and Fred Willard. Watch the film trailer here

Monday, July 8, 2013

Second City Returns to Woolly Mammoth Theater - Jul 9 - Aug 4

Following sell-out runs of "Barack Stars: The Wrath of Rahm," "A Girl's Guide to Washington Politics" and "Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies," we're thrilled to return to Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC, with "America All Better!" Performances begin this week on and continue through. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PJ Torokvei

It's with great sadness that we heard today of the passing of Second City alum PJ Torokvei. In addition to being an incredibly talented screenwriter, actor and producer, she was a dear friend and a wonderful part of The Second City community and family. Our thoughts are with her family.

Click here for more information about PJ Torokvei's career and here for the Hollywood Reporter's article about this loss.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Jon Langford Joins Mainstage Cast on July 4th

This Thursday, acclaimed musician, Jon Langford, is joining the Mainstage cast during their improv set at the end of the show. With Jon's musical prowess and the array of talent the Mainstage cast has to offer, this is guaranteed to be an incredible performance. "Jon Langford has grit in his voice and melody in his soul. A punk-rock pioneer, a leading light of alt-country, a troubadour for our times, a musicians' mentor, a visual artist of uncommon skill, a singer-songwriter who writes with the authority of having lived a life rather just having imagined it..." (Chicago New City). Get your tickets today for this one night only event.

Friday, June 28, 2013

"A Clown Car Named Desire" Opens to Rave Reviews

The Second City e.t.c.'s new revue, "A Clown Car Named Desire," opened to rave reviews and also received a Jeff Recommendation. Tickets are on sale now for "A Clown Car Named Desire." Click here to book your tickets.

Check out the great reviews:

A Clown Car Named Desire

 “4 out 4 Stars…a hot young cast… funny, high-stakes show.”
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 4-star review

“magic…bring a pair of oversized floppy shoes and enjoy.”
Jason Heidemann, Chicago Magazine

“…it’s more than funny. It’s hilarious. Consistently, uproariously hilarious.”
Zach Freeman, New City Stage

“…puts absurd new bents on familiar set-ups.”
Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago

“…combines a particularly talented ensemble with contemporary takes on some of the company's most time-honored bits.”
Kelly Kleiman, Huffington Post 

“…full of sight gags, deliberately hammy performances, and bits of crowd-pleasing audience participation.”
Matt Byrne, Chicagoist

“Highly Recommended…evening of raucous comedy…let yourself go and have a ball.”
Alan Bresloff, Around The Town Chicago

“…non-stop laughs. The stage chemistry and wonderful comic timing along with the instant smart ad-libs produced a tightly spun revue.”
Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

"The McCarthy's" Pilot by Brian Gallivan Back in Play at CBS reports that CBS has commissioned a multi-cam pilot shoot of "The McCarthy's," created by Second CIty alumni Brian Gallivan. "The McCarthy's" follows the gay son of a sports-crazed Irish-American family in Boston. Click here for the full story.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bernard Sahlins – 1922-2013

Bernard Sahlins died peacefully at his home after a short illness. In 1959, Sahlins founded The Second City with Howard Alk and Paul Sills and served as the theatre’s longtime producer and director until 1984. He produced multiple television productions in the UK and the USA, as well as SCTV in Canada. For the past eight years, he worked with the Poetry Foundation directing staged readings – the most recent of which was Comic Poetry. Honors include the Sergel Prize for playwright, several Jeff Awards for directing and the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Chicago for his contributions to the theatre.

“Bernie Sahlins made no small plans and his legacy will be felt for generations to come” states Andrew Alexander, CEO/Managing Partner of The Second City. “As producer and co-Founder of The Playwrights Theatre Club, The Second City, The University of Chicago’s Off-Off Campus, the International Theatre Festival of Chicago and the Lithuanian International Theatre, Bernie was a true theatrical impresario. His passion for the theatre was only equaled by his tremendous capacity for laughter. No one was quicker with a joke than Bernie and he remained an indefatigable figure in the Chicago theatre scene as a writer, director and lecturer. Although we mourn the loss of Bernie Sahlins, he will forever be remembered as a giant in the industry and a true friend and colleague to generations of Chicago theatre artists.”

Sahlins was born in Chicago and studied at the University of Chicago before he turned to theatre. In 1953, he became a producer of Playwrights Theatre Club which is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. In 1956, he took over the empty downtown Studebaker Theatre which presented, among other things, the Chicago premiere of “Waiting for Godot.”

He remained a prolific presence in the Chicago arts community and when he was presented with an honorary doctorate from Columbia College in 2006, Sheldon Patinkin wrote “his legacy to theater and, in particular, to comedy in America, is secure and clearly permanent.”

Funeral services will be private. A Memorial Service will follow at a later date.

Biography for Bernard Sahlins:
Director, author and producer Bernard Sahlins is the founder of the world-renowned The Second City, where he also served as a longtime director and producer. Sahlins also co-founded The International Theatre Festival of Chicago and The Lithuanian International Theater Festival, and has directed and/or produced various shows in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Toronto. He is also the co-creator and producer of “SCTV.” Sahlins’ directing credits include his own adaptation of “The Mysteries” for the Court Theatre, “The Wasteland” for the Chicago Humanities Festival & The Arts Club, “The Cure at Troy” at Steppenwolf Theater, “The Shoemakers Holiday,” “The Knight of the Burning Pestle” and “The Burial at Thebes” at Chicago Shakespeare and multiple readings for the Poetry Foundation, among myriad other productions. He has written and directed several works, including “See the Light” for the Museum of Science & Industry, “The History of Comedy, Part 2” for the University of Chicago and “A Woman for All Seasons,” “Jane Addams,” and “Dylan Thomas” for the Chicago Humanities Festival. He has been a consultant for the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and the Lithuanian National Theatre, The Disney Company, The Market Theatre: Johannesburg, The Museum Campus, USIS: Rumania, Lithuania, The University of Chicago arts programs, and The British Council. He is the author of “Days and Nights at The Second City: A Memoir.” Sahlins is the recipient of The Sergel prize for playwriting, The University of Chicago Professional Achievement Award, The Chicago Drama League’s Professional Achievement Award, Joseph Jefferson Awards for directing and professional achievement, The Illinois Arts Alliance “Legend” award, and the Chicago Improv Festival gave him a CIF Lifetime Achievement Award. He served on the Advisory Board of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Board of Directors for The Arts Club of Chicago, and the Board of Directors for the DePaul School of Drama.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

The Second City Alumni Fund
1616 N. Wells St
Chicago, IL 60614

The Poetry Foundation
61 W. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
800 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Second City Vegas Alum Joe Boyd Stars in Indie Feature: A Strange Brand of Happy

A Strange Brand of Happy will be released in 42 cities across the country on September 13th. Joe Boyd is not only starring as the lead, but is also producing this feature film. A Strange Brand of Happy also features Holly Walker and Academy Award winner Shirley Jones. Jones has been in 77 films and has never been allowed to improvise until this one! Check out the video interview below as well as the movie trailer.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Congratulations to Second City alum and Tony Award winner Andrea Martin!

Last night, Second City alumnus Andrea Martin won a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role Musical for Pippin The Musical currently running at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. Congratulations to her and all of our friends from Chicago that took home awards last night! Click here for a complete list of winners.

Friday, June 7, 2013

e.t.c. Gears Up for New Show - "A Clown Car Named Desire"

The Second City e.t.c. is proud to announce the opening of their 37th Revue, "A Clown Car Named Desire." Reviewing press are invited to attend the show on Friday, June 21, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. at The Second City e.t.c. Theatre (1608 N. Wells Street, 2nd floor of Piper’s Alley). A Grand Opening is scheduled for Sunday, June 23, 2013, at 7:00 p.m.

Join the limber and handsome cast of "A Clown Car Named Desire" for a spectacular night of illusion featuring brave, multitasking mothers expressing themselves; hyper hipsters competing for the ultimate in cool; and long term monogamous couples desperately trying to remember how they got that way. Its a night to remember and the perfect antidote to that mundane and troublesome state called reality.

Jeff Award-winning director Ryan Bernier (We’re All in This Room Together) returns to The Second City e.t.c. Theater to lead a mix of new cast members including Carisa Barreca (The Second City’s Guide to the Opera), Brooke Breit and Punam Patel, with veterans Mike Kosinski (Jeff Nominated for Best Actor - Revue), Michael Lehrer and Chris Witaske. Alex Kliner makes his debut behind the baby grand as Musical Director/Composer and Kyle Anderson returns as Stage Manager. The producing team for "A Clown Car Named Desire" includes CEO/Managing Partner for The Second City, Andrew Alexander; Executive Vice President, Kelly Leonard; Producer, Alison Riley; and Associate Producer, Jeremy Smith.

Tickets for "A Clown Car Named Desire" are available by phone at 312-337-3992 or online at

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Planning Reminder - Old Town Art Fair This Weekend

As you plan your trip to The Second City this weekend, please note that on Saturday and Sunday, our neighborhood hosts the Old Town Art Fair and Wells St. Festival. If you're planning to see a show, please take some time to enjoy the art fair or street festival.

During this time, Wells Street will be closed off to traffic from North Avenue south to Division for the Wells Street Art Festival. The Old Town Art Fair will also be taking place north of us on the streets immediately west of Lincoln and Wells which will decrese parking availability. If possible, please opt for alternative transportation such as taxi, CTA ( can help you find the best route!) or bike.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Offstage with Rachel LaForce

Rachel LaForce performed her entire life, but she was always landing what she called the, "Kathy Bates Characters," doing comic relief. So when she discovered Second City, she knew were she had to be.

How did you first get involved in The Second City?
Everyone has a similar story - saw my first Second City show and had that Wayne's World moment - you know when Wayne goes and looks at the guitar he wants and repeats, "Oh yes, you will be mine." I moved to Chicago nine months later.

Tell us about some of the voiceover work you do
I was lucky to be introduced to voiceover work my freshman year of college. Voiceover is a really great way to make money as an actor. My agents are very knowledgable and come out to support me at shows, which is really awesome. Naked Voices. Check them out! I have mostly booked industrials so far. I am still praying for that McDonald's money!

What else are you working on right now?
Casey Whitaker and I are writing our second two women show as LaForce & Whitaker for The Women's Funny Festival at Stage 773 in June. Our show is titled, "Copy. Edit. Paste." and directed by Scott Goldstein. We are trying new styles and it is a whole new format for us, come see it! Saturday, June 8th, 10pm. Whitaker and I are also half of a sketch group called, Wildcard. Carmen Christopher and Greg Worsley make up the other 50%. We are always challenging each other creatively. Worsley and I are currently shooting a webseries titled, "Fights In Cars." We dated for 2 years and are still good friends, so we have a lot of material for relationship based arguments. I have always wanted to write a one women show. I finally gave into myself. The working title is, "I Carried A Watermelon" inspired by one of my favorite lines from Dirty Dancing.

What are some of your hobbies?
I recently read, "It's good to have hobbies. They give without taking. There is no pressure. They're like church" . . . I love to paint. I am not very good at it, but it's relaxing. I LOVE thrifting. You can find the coolest stuff for great deals, and I love the thrill of the hunt. I've been reading a lot more, which feels great. I've really gotten into Ted Talks. It is interesting to get a glimpse into worlds I don't know much about. Is dining out a hobby? I love trying new restaurants . . . Large farm tables, candles, bottles of wine and great friends. Perfect.

What movies, TV shows, etc. influence your comedic style?
My favorite movie for inspiration right now is "Bridesmaids." I am loving watching the ladies of SNL right now. Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant are so fun to watch. Aidy and I improvised together in college and I was always in awe of her. I love "Parks and Rec" - I mean, come on. If you don't watch, "The Mindy Project," I suggest giving it a shot. Louis C. K. is unreal. I'm late to the GIRLS train, but I love it.

What other comedians inspire you?
Lately I have been really inspired by . . . the ladies of Fanny (Claire Mulaney, Blair Beeken, Sarah Shook and Lily Sullivan) I love watching them play. Kristen Schaal. Bobby Moyniham's Drunk Uncle. Barry Hite's references. Tig Notaro. "Let Them Eat Chaos" - good lord this show is fantastic. Anna Kendrick - follow her on Twitter. Mindy Kaling. Aubrey Plaza. The ladies of Superhuman. Lee and Matt Baratts. . . Life long inspirations: Chris Farley. Diane Keaton. Maya Rudolph. Kristen Wiig. Carol Burnett. Ellen. Billy Crystal.

When you’re not acting, improvising or writing, what are you doing?
Sleeping. Ha. That is the most honest answer. I love sleep. It's the best. I mostly make time for my girlfriends that arn't in the community. My girls from college live within 2 blocks from me in Wicker Park. I am lucky to have 2 of my best friends from high school live here as well. I love hanging out with them. It feeds my soul.

By Pamela Birchard

Monday, June 3, 2013

"The Second City Guide to the Opera" is Jeff Recommended!

Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Second City opened the summer run of The Second City Guide to the Opera at the Civic Opera House this weekend and received a "Jeff Recommendation." "Jeff Recommended" indicates at least one element of a production was deemed excellent by opening night judges. The entire production is then eligible for nomination at the end of the season. See for full list.

For more information, to see the trailer for The Second City Guide to the Opera, or to purchase tickets, please visit Lyric Opera.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Second City Offers Exclusive New Video Course in Partnership with Funny or Die

Two of America's top comedy creators, The Second City and Funny Or Die, have collaborated on an exclusive new video course. The pilot program will launch at The Second City Training Center's Hollywood campus (6560 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) beginning July 2, 2013. Similar programs will be launched at The Second City Training Centers in Chicago and Toronto in the Fall of 2013.

The first course offering focuses on DIY or guerilla-style filmmaking with an emphasis on creating short form comedic video content. The course curriculum includes pitching video ideas, scripting and on-location coaching. Basic cameras, lighting equipment and editing software will be provided by The Second City. Students are encouraged to use their own equipment as well.

Course curriculum has been co-created by Funny Or Die Creative Director, Andrew Steele, and Second City Training Center Artistic Director, Joshua Funk. Course will be taught by Mr. Steele, Mr. Funk and other key Second City and Funny Or Die talent.

"While The Second City has perfected the process for creating theatrical material," states Andrew Alexander, CEO/Managing Partner of The Second City, "our friends at Funny Or Die have been perfecting the formula for creating funny, edgy and satirical short form videos. In the current comedy environment, it pays to be prolific. Having the right tools and coaching for short form digital content is an important asset for any writer and performer."

"It makes perfect sense to us. No one teaches short form sketch comedy better than Second City and we think we're pretty good at translating that form to the web," states Andrew Steele, Creative Director for Funny Or Die. "We were kind of stunned that they would come to us but I guess they know what they're doing. I hope they know what they're doing." He added, "This is a natural fit for us. We both have short form comedy in our DNA. And it gives us the added bonus of maybe stealing some of their better talent."

Course Description
Creating Video for Funny Or Die is a 12 week course in creating comedic digital shorts. Each student receives weekly feedback from Funny Or Die creative staff and has weekly check-ins with a Second City writing instructor and director. After completion of the 12 week course, each student will have his or her own fully produced digital short. Funny Or Die will post all student content on their main site under a section specifically designated for Second City Training Center student works.

10 classes meet over 12 weeks
Prerequisite: None

Class meets at the Second City Training Center Hollywood, 6560 Hollywood Blvd.
Tuesdays beginning July 2. Class runs through September 17. 6:30-10:00pm

Register for the class here.

Congratulations to Brian Gallivan on His Overall Deal with Sony TV

Congratulations to Brian Gallivan on landing an overall deal with Sony TV. He will be continuing with his current project, "The McCarthys" and create new projects for the studio. Read more at

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Second City Guide to the Opera opens this weekend!

The Second City Guide to the Opera opens this weekend!

Tickets are on sale now for this smart and hilarious collaboration between The Second City and Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Second City Guide to the Opera "had the crowd whooping with laughter...a smart script and the manic exuberance of the cast roasted the sacred cows of opera with a light yet loving touch." Chicago Tribune

The show will run from May 31 through June 30. Tickets are selling fast, so don't miss your chance to sit on the legendary Civic Opera House stage and see The Second City Guide to the Opera starting on May 31. Learn more about the performances and reserve your tickets today at

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Second City’s Walking Tour Is Back for the Summer

The Second City’s Neighborhood Tour returns for the summer starting this week! Written by Margaret Hicks, an experienced Chicago tour guide and author of Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History, The Second City’s Neighborhood Tour both entertains and informs while highlighting the architecture, history and development of Old Town as well as various Second City alumni haunts and the stories that go with them.

Tours can have up to fifteen guests and advanced reservations are recommended. The tours are every Sunday at 10:30am and Wednesday at 4:00pm and last from one hour and 30 minutes to two hours. The walking pace is suitable for all ages. For more information, or to make reservations, call The Second City Box Office at 312-337-3992 or reserve online at

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Second City Celebrates Playwrights Theatre Club’s 60th Anniversary

The Second City is pleased to host a free event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Playwrights Theatre Club on Sunday, June 23, 2013 in UP Comedy Club (230 W. North Ave, 2nd Floor of Piper's Alley) at 3:00 p.m. This special event will reunite the original members of The Playwrights Theatre Club, which was the precursor to The Compass and The Second City.

During this special reunion event, Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones will moderate a panel of Playwrights Theatre Club original members including: Ed Asner, Helen Axelrood, Rolf Forsberg, George Goritz, Zohra Lampert, Sheldon Patinkin, Bernie Sahlins, and David Shepherd, along with Joyce Piven, Carol Sills and Joann Shapiro.

The Playwrights Theatre Club was started in Chicago in the early 1950s by a group of young theater pioneers. Founded by David Shepherd, Paul Sills and Eugene Troobnick, Playwrights Theatre Club appeared on the scene in June 1953 with a production of Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle. In two years, the company presented nearly thirty productions, with the company members, several of whom lived in the theatre, making all sets and costumes themselves. In addition to show rehearsals, company members regularly played Theater Games (now considered the basis of improvisational theater) created by Sills' mother, Viola Spolin. This training prepared the group for their rechristening as The Compass Players in 1955. The Compass Players opened their doors in a new, larger and air-conditioned space on July 5, 1955, presenting regular improvisational theater shows, the predecessor to the legendary form The Second City is known for today. Roger Bowen, Elaine May and Barbara Harris are among the many notable performers in the original Compass Players.

Tickets for the event are free. For reservations, call The Second City Box Office at 312-337-3992 or reserve online at

Second City Featured on NBC's Today Show

The Today Show stopped by Chicago today for on the Great American Road Trip. While they were in town, they featured Second City including interviews with Andrew Alexander, Anne Libera and Second City Touring Company alum and current SNL cast member Cecily Strong. Watch it below:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jeff Garlin Joins ABC Fall Line-Up with "The Goldberg's"

Jeff Garlin joins the ABC Fall line-up with a new family sitcom, "The Goldbergs." Set in the '80's, "The Goldbergs" also features Wendy McClendon-Covey. Click here to check out the trailer.

Peter Grosz to Star Off Broadway in "A Kid Like Jake" with Carla Gugino

Second City alumni Peter Grosz has been cast to star in the world premiere of Daniel Pearle's new play, "A Kid Like Jake," at the Claire Tow Theater as part of Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3 initiative devoted to emerging artists. Performances begin June 2 with the official opening set for June 17. Click here for more information.

Congratulations to Drama Desk Award Winners Andrea Martin and Richard Kind!

This year's Drama Desk Award Winners including Second City alumni Andrea Martin for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical ("Pippin") and Richard Kind for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play ("The Big Knife"). Click here for a complete list of winners.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Second City Alums Join "The Big Live Comedy Show" This Weekend on YouTube

Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele and Jack McBrayer join the line-up on YouTube's "The Big Live Comedy Show" on Sunday, May 19 at 7 pm Central. Click here for more info.

Jane Lynch Stars in "Annie" on Broadway

Alumni of The Second City Touring Company Jane Lynch began performances as orphanage matron Miss Hannigan in Broadway's "Annie" on May 14. Click here for more information about the production and ticket information.

Martin Short Joins the Cast of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"

Second City and SCTV alum Martin Short is set to star in Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. Click here to read the full story from Splitsider.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nancy Fast Interviews Super-Intern Miguel Lepe On His Last Day

Nancy snagged Miguel from his post on his last day of interning to talk about what’s next in his life! Find out all about Miguel’s Production Company Digital Cake, his upcoming one-man show, his wonderful fiancé Ruby Vega and more!

Listen to the Podcast!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Andrea Martin Wins Outer Critics Circle Award for Pippin'

Congratulations to Second City alumni Andrea Martin on her Outer Critics Circle Award win for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical in "Pippin'." Awards winners will be recognized at the 63rd Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards on May 23 at Sardi's Restaurant in New York. Click here for a complete list of winners.