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Outreach & Diversity

Our Outreach Program

Our Outreach program is an ongoing commitment to expose the improv art form to new voices, underserved communities and talent seeking careers at Second City. Our goal is to open doors, create a bridge and make this work accessible and inclusive.  We believe everyone, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation should experience the gift of improv.

Four unique programming areas:

Outreach: Alliance building with colleges, community organizations and corporate sponsors.

Talent Cultivation: Mentorship and development for exceptional talent seeking careers in sketch comedy and improv.

Diversity Programming: Workshops, lectures and speaker events tailored to a specific niche and demographic

Shows: Performances produced by our division featuring some of the newest, voices in comedy.

In our 23+ years, we’ve reached a lot of people and transformed lives and careers. That’s the best gift you can ask for.

For information about the Toronto Diversity and Outreach Program, click here

Let Us Come To You

Let us come to your university, womens shelter, gender studies class, community organization or group and share the gift of improvisation and our diversity programming.

This programming includes:

  • Master Diversity Workshops tailored for multicultural groups.
  • Guest Artist Lecture with improv demo and performance.
  • Workshops that address gender, race and LGBTQ themes.
  • Workshops for at-risk, alternative schools and underserved communities.

NBC Universal Bob Curry Fellowship

The Second City Diversity and Training Center is proud to announce our 3rd annual Bob Curry Fellowship with generous support from NBC Universal. This one of a kind hands on mentorship and training offers up to 16 fellowships to qualifying actors from multicultural backgrounds to train and study at Second City Chicago and Toronto. Our highly competitive fellowship awarded to exceptional talent selected by audition is adjudicated by Second City directors and producers.

The Bob Curry Fellowship program is specifically seeking talent/applicants including, but not limited to those who identify as any of the following: Asian Pacific, Sub Continent Asian, African American, Hispanic, Native American Middle Eastern.

Qualifying candidates can send inquiries to for 2015-2016 upcoming audition and open house info dates to attend. Auditions will be announced fall/winter 2015.
The Bob Curry Fellowship is offered annually. The Toronto fellowship is offered every two years.

8 weeks (Chicago) March – May 2016. Auditions TBA.
Tues/Thurs 4-7PM – Training Center location tbd.

Are you the next Bob Curry Fellow?

Check out last year’s Bob Curry Fellows…  showcase.

Who is Bob Curry:

Bob Curry was a Second City alumni and the first African American actor who performed on the our resident stage in 1966. A Joseph Jeff Award winning actor and inspiring director, he coached and mentored many actors in Chicago’s theatre community.

Bob Curry Fellowship Auditions
The Second City is holding auditions to cast and award up to 16 distinguished comedy fellowships to qualified performers of diverse ethnic backgrounds in the third annual NBC Universal Bob Curry Fellowship. Auditions are Monday, January 25th by appointment only.

In 2016, the Bob Curry Fellowship is a ten week master professional development tuition free program launched by The Second City Diversity and Training Center divisions. Taught by Second City’s top instructors and directors, this one of a kind fellowship highlights a culminating showcase presented to industry execs, NBC casting and Second City producers and directors. In the past two years since the fellowship’s launch, over 50% of the actors and improvisers were hired by Second City for careers.

Talent must audition to be accepted into the program. To be eligible, talent should be a graduate of a Conservatory level improv program e.g., Second City, iO theatre, Annoyance theatre, UCB, etc. Professional actors with a degree in theatre or extensive stage experience with some improv training are also qualified to submit. Headshots and resumes will be reviewed for audition consideration and scheduled appointments on a first come basis.

Next Steps
Talent can submit headshot and resume only during the submission window January 11-13, 2016. Early submissions will not be reviewed or qualify. E-mail for submission and general inquiries.

About the Audition
The audition will consist of twenty minutes of improvisation within a group of eight and a personal choice of a two minute comedic monologue or stand-up piece. Callbacks will take place on Wednesday, January 27 by appointment only.

The NBC Universal Bob Curry Fellowship begins March 14th week with a meet and greet and continues until June 4th. Master classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday 4-7pm at The Second City Training Center – 1608 N. Wells 4th Floor.

For more info, e-mail
Limited audition slots. No phone calls, please.

Emerging Voices Scholarship

Apply Now!

NBCUniversal Second City Emerging Voices Scholarship Awards:

Three scholarships, one in each of the cities with The Second City training programs – Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood, will be awarded for one year of advanced improvisation or sketch writing training. Applications are particularly welcome from candidates from diverse communities. Qualified talent will be selected from annual auditions, submission, or Bob Curry Fellowship as applicable in each city.

Download the Second City NBC Universal Emerging Voices Scholarship application

Timeline and instructions:

Inquiries are open at all theatres.

Chicago: September 19 – September 28
Award Notification: November/December 2016

Toronto: April 4 – April 15, 2016
Invited Auditions: Monday, May 2nd by appt. only
Award Notification: July 2016

Hollywood: August 22 – August 31, 2016
Award Notification: October 2016

Shows & Festivals

Diversity Weekend

Diversity Weekend

Diversity Weekend Events: 
please RSVP to

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

5:30pm- Meet & Greet- Our Director of Diversity and Outreach, Dionna Griffin-Irons will be here, as well as some of our 2015 Bob Curry Fellows, and they will speak about what came from the program. .

Second City NBC Break Out Comedy Festival

Second City NBC Break Out Comedy Festival

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The Break Out Comedy Festival was created in 2015 as part of a relationship between NBCUniversal and The Second City with the goal of showcasing diverse voices in comedy. .

Contact & More Info

Contact Us

To inquire about college workshops, lecture demonstrations or a visit to your school or university, contact:

Dionna Griffin-Irons
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
312-664-4032 ext. 3577

Diversity Relationship

Build a Relationship with Outreach

Let us come to your university, gender studies class or shelter. We will share our outreach with your community.

Find out how we transform lives and communities.

Off the Cuff Podcast

Bob Curry Audition Tips

Are you an actor or improviser who recently submitted for an audition slot for the Bob Curry Fellowship? Listen to this podcast to get prepared and hear what the Fellowship is all about!
Featuring Dionna Griffin-Irons, Matt Hovde, Peter Kim, and Torian Miller

Diversity Partners

A few of our partners…
After School Matters
United States Embassy
Norway & Latvia
Urban Prep Academy
YMCA Black and Latino Achievers
NBC Universal
Big Brothers Club
Columbia College
University of Chicago
Northwestern University
A Long Walk Home
DePaul University