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

1 comment:

  1. Hi All,
    I'm Mara Roshal, Leah Roshal's daughter. I'm hoping to come in from LA for this event, as I know if my mom were living, she TOO would be Represented on This Panel as one of the origianl members of Playwrights! Something very dear to her, her whole life. I heard SO MANY Wonderful Things about the Playwrights Group throught my growing up years and into adulthood from my mom Leah!!
    I look forward to hearing about all of your memories, stories and pictures!
    Best Regards,
    Mara Roshal