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  • Oct 24 2014

    SC Comedy Study Alums To Produce Comedy Pilot for TBS

    TBS has just given pilot orders for "Wrecked," the single-camera comedy from SC Comedy Study alums, Justin and Jordan Shipley. Congrats guys, can't wait to see the pilot!

    10/24/2014 Comments (0)
  • Oct 23 2014

    SCN Video Screened at Midwest Independent Film Festival

    "The Mayor's Aide: Free Speech" by The Second City Network will be screened Tuesday night, November 4th as part of the Midwest Independent Film Fest at Landmark Cinema. Congrats to SCN and please join them for this exciting evening!

    10/23/2014 Comments (0)
  • Oct 14 2014

    Depraved New World's John Hartman Wins Jeff Award

    Congratulations to SC's Depraved New World actor, John Hartman, on his Jeff Award win last night. A big congrats to all nominees, what a terrific evening!

    10/14/2014 Comments (0)
  • Oct 14 2014

    SC + Hubbard Street Opens Tomorrow

    The Second City partners with The Hubbard Street Dance Company for "The Art of Falling" with the preview tomorrow evening and shows the rest of the weekend. This is a limited run, ending Sunday October 19th. New City Stage interviewed a few ensemble members for more information:

    "Without giving too much away (which is pretty much impossible considering the fragmented rehearsals) the structure of the show loosely follows a Second City mainstage production: two acts with intermission, three separate but interwoven plot lines interspersed with short vignettes. A writer/choreographer team developed each thread, and the score, by Julie Nichols, includes a lot of original music performed live on stage along with pointed, referential excerpts of pop songs. The theme is falling—in love, primarily—and requisite risk-taking to make it happen."

    To read the entire article, click here.

    10/14/2014 Comments (0)
  • Oct 2 2014

    Cast Announced for SC & Goodman's "Twist Your Dickens"

    In an unprecedented partnership, Goodman Theatre and The Second City join forces to present “comedy gold” (bePortland) with the holiday send-up Twist Your Dickens, Or Scrooge You by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort.

    Directed by Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center Matt Hovde, this “riotous havoc” (Los Angeles Times) finds Scrooge and Tiny Tim hopelessly mixed up with characters from the Peanuts holiday special, the island of misfit toys and even little orphan Annie, all in The Second City’s trademark improvisational style. Twist Your Dickens runs December 5 - 28 in the Owen Theatre (opening night is Thursday, December 11).

    Tickets ($15 - $45; subject to change) are on sale online now or you can order by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). The production complements the Goodman’s 37th annual production of A Christmas Carol, which is directed by Artistic Associate Henry Wishcamper in the Albert (November 15 – December 28).

    “We’re thrilled to partner with The Second City as part of our 90th Anniversary Season,” said Executive Director Roche Schulfer. “A Christmas Carol has been a longstanding tradition at the theater, and we look forward to the humor and surprises that come with The Second City’s irreverent interpretation.”

    "Adding The Second City's Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens, or Scrooge You! to their holiday schedule alongside the time-honored production of A Christmas Carol is a perfect example of what makes the Goodman a forward thinking and innovative Chicago institution," states Andrew Alexander, CEO/Executive Producer of The Second City. "We're honored to partner with our friends at the Goodman this holiday season."

    CAST
    The seven-member cast includes:

    • Francis Guinan (currently in The Night Alive at Steppenwolf Theatre Company) as Scrooge
    • Frank Caeti (MADtv) as the Ghost of Christmas Past
    • Writer Peter Gwinn as Jacob Marley
    • Sayjal Joshi (The Second City’s Incomplete Guide to Everything) as Tiny Tim
    • Beth Melewski (The Second City Guide to the Opera and Chicago’s Cash Cab) as the Ghost of Christmas Present
    • Robyn Scott (Ask Aunt Susan) as Mrs. Cratchit
    • Tim Stoltenberg (The Second City’s Incomplete Guide to Everything) as Bob Cratchit
    Audiences can also expect some famous faces to drop by for surprise cameo appearances. The creative team includes TK. Headshots and bio information can be found in the Press Room.

    Peter Gwinn (Writer) was one of the original writers for The Colbert Report, for which he received two Emmy Awards. Other written works include Moulin Scrooge! (WreckingBall Theater Lab and iO Chicago), Listen Kid! (UCB Theater and iO Chicago), PeterGwinn’s The Confidence Ladder (UCB Theater) and The Awesome Show (iO Chicago). He is a founding member of Baby Wants Candy, a troupe that improvises one-act musicals. Other performer credits include ASSSSCAT (UCB Theater), The Armando Diaz Experience (iO Chicago), The Second City Touring Company and Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

    Bobby Mort (Writer) has won an Emmy Award for his work on The Colbert Report and performed as part of the ensemble People of Earth (iO Chicago) and sketch trio Maximum Party Zone (iO Chicago). He was also the screenwriter for Circle of Pain and Beatdown.

    Matt Hovde (Director) is the Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center. His directing credits at The Second City include Let Them Eat Chaos, Sky’s The Limit (Weather Permitting), Second City’s Game Night, Studs Terkel’s Not Working (Jeff Award), America: All Better; Rod Blagojevich Superstar!; and Between Barack and a Hard Place. He has directed productions for The Second City in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, Vienna, Brussels and others. He previously directed Twist Your Dickens at Portland Center Stage in 2013.

    10/2/2014 Comments (0)
  • Sep 29 2014

    SC Toronto's "Rebel Without a Cosmos" is Four Stars

    Congratulations to SC Toronto for an incredible opening night! Last night their latest Mainstage revue, "Rebel Without a Cosmos" opened to rave review. It was said to be "sheer comic bliss: as funny as you could dream of, but also full of real wisdom and razor-sharp satire."

    What more could you ask for...oh maybe to also get four out of four starts -- which it did!

    Congrats Toronto!

    Click here for the entire review from the Toronto Star.

    9/29/2014 Comments (0)
  • Sep 26 2014

    Second City Wants to Twist Your Dickens

    The holidays are on their way and The Second City has teamed up with The Goodman Theatre for "Twist Your Dickens or Scrooge You" playing at Goodman for the month of December.

    An irreverent send-up of the holiday classic, Twist Your Dickens or Scrooge You is written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort and features Second City's trademark improvisation. Scrooge, Tiny Tim and those know-it-all ghosts find themselves hopelessly mixed up with characters from the Peanuts holiday special, the Island of Misfit Toys and even little orphan Annie in a heaping host of holiday hilarity for all.

    Tickets are on sale now and you can either order them by phone by calling the Box Office at 312.443.3800 or ordering online!


    9/26/2014 Comments (0)
  • Sep 24 2014

    Andrew Alexander Honored by Phi Beta Kappa Association

    Andrew Alexander, Executive Producer & CEO of The Second City, Inc., will be honored for his contributions to Chicago’s cultural life by the Chicago alumni association of Phi Beta Kappa, the prestigious national academic society, at its Annual Dinner and Scholarship Benefit on Friday, November 14, 2014 at 6:30p. The event will be held at The Casino (195 E. Delaware Place) and is open to the public. Tickets and additional information are available at www.pbkaca.org.

    Past recipients of Phi Beta Kappa’s Distinguished Service Award include Lois Weisberg, former Chicago Commissioner of Cultural Affairs; Project Exploration’s Paul Sereno and Gabrielle Lyon; the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s William Mason; the Art Institute of Chicago’s James Cuno; and Arne Duncan, former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and current U.S. Secretary of Education. The full list of past recipients can be found at www.pbkaca.org.

    In addition to presenting the Distinguished Service Award, Phi Beta Kappa Chicago annually awards scholarships to outstanding CPS high school students and advocates intellectual pursuits and the benefits of a liberal education.

    Andrew Alexander
    Andrew Alexander is best known for his leadership of The Second City theatre company and the hit television show SCTV. Alexander is a major presence in the entertainment scene and also works as a theatre, film, and television producer.

    Alexander was born in London, England. He studied at Tri-State College in Indiana and Ryerson University in Toronto. Working as a cab driver, truck driver, speakeasy operator, waiter, tree salesman, marketing manager, ad salesman, magazine editor, and producer in the alternative theatre scene in Toronto positioned him well for a career in the Comedy Business. That chance came in 1974 when he became the head of The Second City in Toronto.

    As leader of the Toronto theatre, Alexander produced and developed content for live theatre shows in collaboration with the legendary performers of the 1970s: Gilda Radner, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, and Joe Flaherty, among others. Two years later, he forged a partnership with Len Stuart to create The Second City Entertainment Company, whose first production was the groundbreaking television show SCTV. After almost a decade developing the Entertainment Company, Alexander and Stuart became owners of The Second City Chicago in 1985. Since then, Alexander has actively led The Second City in Canada and the United States for over thirty years.

    Alexander has produced or executive produced over 200 Second City revues in Canada and the United States. Under his leadership, The Second City has created innovative revues that have inspired generations of comedic creators. Over the past 35 years, The Second City has made its mark by operating resident theatres and/or improv training facilities in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Edmonton, London Ontario, New York, and Cleveland. Never forgetting the company’s Windy City roots, The Second City has at one point operated three resident theatres in Chicago alone.

    During Alexander’s prolific career as a television producer, he has co-developed and executive produced more than 185 half-hour shows and produced over 150 hours of television comedy for SCTV. Throughout the length of SCTV’s run, the comedy series garnered an ACTRA Award, two Emmy Awards, and 13 Emmy Award nominations.

    Alexander has also developed television programming for numerous networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox Television, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, A&E, and the CBC. Alexander has had co-production deals with MGM Television, Imagine Films, Disney Studios, and United Artist. He has also produced movies and television shows with some of North America’s brightest stars including Ed Asner, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi, Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Bonnie Hunt, Shelly Long, Andrea Martin, Steve Carell, John Candy, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey.

    Recently, Alexander served as Executive Producer for Second City’s Next Comedy Legend on CBC (2007). He was also executive producer of the Canadian feature film Intern’s Academy (2004), written by Dave Thomas and featuring Canadian comedy virtuosos Dan Aykroyd, Dave Foley, Dave Thomas, and Maury Chaykin.

    Alexander was a founding shareholder of the Pay Television service Super Channel and also served on the Board of Directors.

    Alexander serves on the Columbia College Board of Trustees. He is Chair of the Gilda’s Club Toronto Honorary Board and acts as an Honorary Member of the Chicago Gilda’s Club Board. Alexander has also served on the Board of the League of Chicago Theatres and the Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2008, he coordinated a reunion of the cast of SCTV in Toronto and launched the Alumni Fund, a fund that in its first months raised over $200,000 to assist actors and support staff during times of illness or economic hardship.

    Alexander has received numerous awards including the Canadian Comedy Awards Chairman’s Award, Gilda’s Magic Award from Gildas Club, and the League of Chicago Theatres’s 2009 Artistic Leadership Award. That same year, Alexander was named Chicago Tribune’s Chicagoan of the Year. He has also been featured in Crain’s 2011 Who’s Who Chicago Business and Chicago Magazine’s 2012 Power 100.

    Since acquiring The Second City Chicago in 1985, the company under Alexander’s leadership has collected 148 Jeff Award Nominations and 28 Jeff Award wins. Since 1975, Second City Toronto has been nominated for 19 Doras and 2 Dora wins. On behalf of The Second City as a whole, Alexander has accepted the Spirit of Innovation Award 2011, the NAB Spirit of Broadcasting Award 2012, Lifetime Achievement Award from Just for Laughs, and the 2012 Big Shoulders Award from the Chicago Film Critics.

    In his current capacity as CEO and Executive Producer of The Second City, Alexander ensures that Second City’s empire of funny will stay on top.

    Phi Beta Kappa
    The mission of Phi Beta Kappa is to inspire enthusiasm for pursuits of the mind.

    Individuals are elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a result of the intellectual curiosity, discipline, rigor, and achievement they exhibit over the extended course of a liberal education.

    Providing such persons with a locus to apply and further develop that mindset, the Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Chicago Area advocates intellectual pursuits and the benefits of a liberal education. Through diverse activities drawing upon the resources of metropolitan Chicago, our goal is to inspire enthusiasm for pursuits of the mind, a sense of discovery, and independent judgement.

    9/24/2014 Comments (0)
  • Sep 18 2014

    Key and Peele Found Love at SC

    Here's a great piece on SC alum Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele on how they got their start together at The Second City!

    9/18/2014 Comments (0)
  • Sep 15 2014

    Wellness Week Schedule

    Click Here to Register for Wellness Week

    WHAT IS WELLNESS WEEK?
    Congress established National Mental Health Awareness Week 24 years ago in 1990 due to the efforts of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an organization we recently sponsored.

    During this week, October 5th-October 11th, mental health advocates and non health-based organizations (LIKE US!) across the U.S. join together to sponsor a variety of events to promote community outreach and public education concerning mental illnesses such as anxiety. We are hosting events because of our growing Wellness Program which includes Improv for Anxiety (IFAX), Improv for ASD, and Humor Doesn’t Retire: Improv for Older Adults.

    We are providing opportunities to show what we are doing with our program and invite the public to participate in and learn about Improv! We hope that everyone will take this opportunities to simply connect, take risks, and try something new in an open, safe environment. Challenge yourself to "Yes, And" a new experience!
    The Second City Training Center is excited to share our unique philosophy centered on connecting with others and building ensemble. Come play with us!

    All events free and open to the public. Ages: High School and up

    10/5/2014, 5:00-6:30PM, Room 301
    Hannah Bailey
    Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) for Actors

    10/6/2014, 10am-1pm, Room 405

    Piero Procaccini
    Intro to Improvisation: Improv Basics for Beginners

    10/6/2014, 6pm-6:50pm, Room 403

    Becca Barish & Mark Pfeffer
    Intro to Improv for Anxiety

    10/7/2014, 5:00-6:50pm, Room 305

    Janna Sobel
    Storytelling & The Gift of the Truth

    10/8/2014, 12:00-2:00pm, Donny's Skybox
    Stephanie McCullough Vlcek
    Singing Against the Darkness

    10/8/2014, 4:00-6:00pm, DeMaat Theatre
    Rachael Mason & Jeff Bouthiette
    Self Discovery through Improvised Song

    10/8/2014, 6:00-6:50pm, DeMaat Theatre
    Aaron Graham
    Making & Faking Confident Choices in Music Improv

    10/8/2014, 6:00-6:50pm, Room 403
    Molly Fisher & Nick Johne
    Intro to Improv for Aspies and Individuals with
    Autism Spectrum & Similar Disorders
    10/9/2014, 5:00-6:50pm, Room 301
    Lynda Tourloukis
    Laughter Yoga Workshop

    10/10/2014, 9:00am-11am, Room 301
    Ruth Williams Hennessy
    Whole Body Voice Workshop

    10/10/2014, 10:00am-11am, Donny's Skybox
    Lauren Dowden
    Improv for Older Adults- Presentation & Play

    10/10/2014, 11:15am-12pm, Room 305
    Susan Messing & Rachael Mason
    I'Mprovising Right

    10/10/2014, 12:00pm-1:00pm, Room 305
    Ashley Nicole Black
    Getting Past Writer's Block
    Participants: Please bring a pen and a notebook
    10/10/2014, 1:00-3:00pm, Room 305
    John Hildreth
    Scenic Improv

    10/10/2014, 3:00-4:00pm, Donny's Skybox
    Jim Winter
    The "Sense" of Humor

    10/10/2014, 4:00-6pm, UP COMEDY CLUB Showcase and Reception
    WELLNESS WEEK SHOWCASE
    Director: Nick Johne

    Doors open at 4pm
    Lights up at 4:15pm
    Host: Ashley Nicole Black
    Sorry Bouts featuring Erin Lann & Brooke Montoya
    Therapy Players
    Wellness Program Ensemble

    5:00-6:00pm Reception: Free Appetizers and Beverages

    10/11/2014, 9:00-9:50am, Room 301
    Hannah Bailey
    Vinyasa Yoga Class
    Participants: Please feel free to bring your own yoga mat!

    9/15/2014 Comments (0)