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 outreach@secondcity.dev 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.

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.

Applications open for fall review only.
See details on application.
Fall date TBA

Inquiries are now closed. Awardees have been notified.

Inquiries are now closed. Awardees have been notified.

Shows & Festivals

Urban Twist

Urban Twist

The cast of Urban Twist, a troupe formed by Second City’s Diversity and Outreach division takes over Donny’s Skybox with their latest revue. Each cast member earned the distinct honor of being a “Bob Curry fellow” where we auditioned and scouted to find the brightest and emerging voices in comedy

Share Your Voice

Share Your Voice

Toronto Monthly Open Mic dates:  Every 3rd Saturday

NBC Universal Second City Break Out Comedy Festival

NBC Universal Second City Break Out Comedy Festival

The NBCUniversal Second City Break Out Comedy Festival is a new comedy fest spotlighting some of the country’s best emerging talent in sketch, improvisation and stand-up. Hosted by Al Madrigal (NBC’s “About a Boy”) on June 5 and Ron Funches (NBC’s “Undateable”) on June 6, the event will feature performances highlighting emerging comedic talent.
June 5th
Scheduled to Appear:
Aisha Alfa, Ramon Rivas, 3 Peat, Dave Helem, Ali Barthwell, Chucho
Perez, Jasbir Singh Velazquez, Chris Bader, Martin Morrow and Kevin Vidal
June 6th
Scheduled to Appear
Dominizuelan, Rebecca O’Neal, Azhar, Calvin Evans, Bleep That Bleep,
Danielle Pinnock and Nigel Downer
The Second City is pleased to continue working with The James Chicago through the Cultural Collection program, a curated group of partners representing Chicago’s dynamic and vibrant cultural communities. The James Hotels, with ideally situated locations in Chicago and New York, and Los Angeles (opening 2016) are warmly modern, locally infused hotels that deliver an inspired blend of exquisite hand-crafted design surrounded by liberated touches. The James’ core guest-centric philosophy is evident in the properties’ residential yet social environment and personal, intuitive service. The James Chicago includes steakhouse David Burke’s Primehouse,
cocktail lounge JIMMY Chicago, expansive meetings and event spaces, The Spa by ASHA, The Gym, comfortable guest rooms and business networking lounge with webcams and seasonally rotating artwork by moniquemeloche gallery.

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 Outreach & Diversity
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 College
A Long Walk Home
DePaul University