Diversity – Outreach


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.

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.

Bob Curry Fellowship

The Second City is proud to announce our partnership with NBC Universal supporting our Bob Curry Fellowship and diversity programming. Our eight week professional master program offers actors of color a unique, one of kind training program for exceptional talent seeking a career in sketch comedy, writing and acting. The Bob Curry Fellowship, named for Second City alumni Bob Curry, is only program of its kind in the world.

The Fellowship program begins  April  2015 with master classes starting Tuesday and Thursdays from 4:00 – 7:00pm at The Second City Training Center. The program will culminate in a showcase performance on The Second City e.t.c. stage open to the general public.

To apply in 2016 and keep posted of audition dates send an email to outreach@secondcity.com

Bob Curry:

Bob Curry was the first African American improviser to perform as a member of The Second City Mainstage in 1966. After his tenure at The Second City, he continued to develop as an artist. He was a Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actor and inspiring director who coached many actors of color in the Chicago theatre community including fellow Second City alumni Aaron Freeman on several projects and directed “Paul Robeson” at Kennedy-King College shortly before his death in 1994.


In 2014-15, one recipient in Chicago, Hollywood, and Toronto will receive the distinguished NBC Diversity Scholarship award to continue their training for one year in advanced improvisation or sketch writing. Qualified talent will be selected from annual auditions, submissions, or Bob Curry Fellowship as applicable in each city.

Outreach Ambassadors and Work-Study Scholarships

Each year, Outreach & Diversity supports new and established with support for classes by providing alternative funding sources to make classes affordable. Talent is selected by recommendation, application and/or audition. To apply and learn more, click here.

NBCUniversal Logo

Contact Us

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

Dionna Griffin-Irons
Director of Outreach & Diversity
312-664-4032 ext. 3577

Off the Cuff Podcast

Real Actor Stories, Insightful career tips and Humor to Amuse and Inform you…

Podcast #3
Thinking about auditioning for the Bob Curry Fellowship? Take a listen to these tips shared.


Podcast #2
From Beginning level improv classes, to a SNL (Saturday Night Live) audition, improv comedy has taken Ms. Baker on a solo journey full of high seas adventures, and self discovery…

Podcast #1
From South Side Chicago Stand Up to Second City National Touring Company in 3+ years…

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 College

A Long Walk Home

DePaul University


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.