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Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Festival



The goal of this festival is to offer a platform for celebrating the unique points of view that come from diverse talent in Los Angeles and beyond. This festival will offer performers of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to explore issues of diversity across race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity through performances, panels, and workshops. Hosted by The Second City in Hollywood, this festival will take place in Los Angeles on:

October 21, 22, and 23, 2016

Submissions for 2016 have closed. Please join us in 2017!

Who qualifies as “diverse”? We feel that diversity extends to any group of underrepresented cultural voices- this could be based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. If you believe your comedic voice is underrepresented and reflects your unique background…apply!

Over the next few months we will be adding information on our many workshops, guest panels and performers. Check back for current updates!



Los Angeles Times: Second City Hollywood to launch Diversity in Comedy Festival



There are three active stages during the festival, please take note which stage your show is at when purchasing tickets.

The Second City Stage (located on 2nd floor with no elevator access)

3 Arts Stage (located on 2nd floor with no elevator access)

The Hollywood Improv



7:00 PM 3 Arts Stage DUVAL • Threelationship

8:00 PM The Second City Stage Afros and Ass Whoopins

8:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Jetzo & Ithamar

9:30 PM The Second City Stage Armagayddon

10:00 PM 3 Arts Stage Phi Beta Negro



12:00 PM 3 Arts Stage The Magic Negro and Other Blackness • Dad Jokes

12:30 PM The Second City Stage Selling Yourself PANEL

1:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Muffin Lovers • Bizarre Love Triangle

2:00 PM The Second City Stage Breaking In PANEL

3:00 PM 3 Arts Stage Second City Diversity & Inclusion PANEL

3:30 PM The Second City Stage After Dark with Julian Clark

4:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Room To Improv • Arcade Currency

5:00 PM The Second City Stage George & Vallury

6:00 PM 3 Arts Stage Hot Tin Roof • Boyfriend Material

6:30 PM The Second City Stage Freshcobar

7:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Greene Boozer Elixir • Essence

8:00 PM The Second City Stage Ithamar Has Nothing To Say

8:00 PM The Hollywood Improv The Black Version

9:00 PM 3 Arts Stage Damn Gina • BC

9:30 PM The Second City Stage Qwerky

10:00 PM The Hollywood Improv Chris Redd & Company

10:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Azn Pop • How About Beige

11:00 PM The Second City Stage B.E.T.H. • Gringos



1:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Sibling Rivalry • Casserole

3:00 PM 3 Arts Stage Feelings • Black Don’t Crack

4:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Great Personality • #ThisisaProtest

6:00 PM 3 Arts Stage M.E. So Funny • Erwin Street

7:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Nals and Tess • Obama’s Other Daughters

9:00 PM 3 Arts Stage Heraldo • Spanglish

10:30 PM 3 Arts Stage Gin Belly •  Ashford & Simpson Meet Sonny & Cher


Oct 22 at 12:30pm: Selling Yourself Without Feeling Like You’re Selling Out: How to Make Them Want Your Work

We keep hearing that diversity a hot topic and that studios, networks, showrunners, and casting agents are more open than ever to considering diverse talent. But we all know it’s not enough to just be “diverse,” in order to get the job. Selling Yourself Without Feeling Like You’re Totally Selling Out: How to Make Them Want Your Work will discuss the practical ins and outs of the entertainment industry and leave attendees with a deeper understanding of how the industry works and what they can do to work in it.

    • Aydrea Walden (Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Disney)
    • Nikki Levy (DreamWorksTV, Don’t Tell My Mother)
    • Gary Anthony Williams (The Boondocks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Weeds)
    • Chris Redd (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Family Fortune, Empire)
    • Nina Bargiel (House of Anubis, Ever After High: Epic Winter, Lizzie McGuire)

Saturday, Oct 22 at 2pm: Breaking In & Continuing To Work In Hollywood From An LGBTQ Perspective 

You’ve gotten your first big job in show business. Now what? Breaking in and continuing to work in Hollywood from an LGBTQ perspective will discuss getting that first big job and what happens next. Breaking in is hard, staying in can be even harder.

    • Patricia Villetto (OMG, DreamWorksTV, Goldieblox Toy Hackers)
      Head Writer/Staff Writer
    • Nico Santos (Superstore, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Chelsea Lately)
      Actor/Stand Up
    • Diona Reasonover (Clipped, Adam Ruins Everything, I love dick)
      Actor/Staff Writer
    • Brian Gallivan (The McCarthy’s, Happy Endings, Sassy Gay Friend)
      Show Creator/Staff Writer/Actor
    • Cat Davis (KC Undercover, Shake It Up, Cat on the Prowl)
      Writer/Stand Up

Saturday, Oct 22 at 3pm: Second City Diversity & Inclusion 

Join our engaging, informative, and free panel on opportunities from Second City’s Diversity and Inclusion division with Dionna Griffin-Irons, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Erica Daniels, President, Second City Theatricals and Joshua Funk, Artistic Director of The Second City Hollywood. Learn more about the Bob Curry Fellowship program, The NBC Universal and career employment opportunities for diverse talent.

    • Dionna Griffin-Irons
      Dionna Griffin-Irons is a writer,  speaker,  alumnus of Second City Detroit and current Director of Diversity and Inclusion at The Second City.  She has taught 200+ workshops at colleges, women’s shelters, corporate boardrooms and worked with the United States Embassy in Norway and Latvia introducing improv as a tool for social change. She is a champion of empowering women, students, actors, professionals and inmates to “own their voice” and give themselves permission to play and be heard wherever they are.
    • Erica Daniels
      Erica Daniels began her career as a casting assistant at Jane Brody Casting. She’s is currently casting the Independent film Imperfections for Coin Op productions, and is on adjunct faculty at Ball State University. She holds a degree in Performance Studies from Northwestern. Most recently, Erica Daniels was Associate Artistic Director at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, working with the Broadway productions: Airline Highway, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, August, Osage County and Superior Donuts.Erica is currently the President of The Second City Theatricals.
    • Joshua Funk
      Joshua Funk is the Artistic Director of The Second City Hollywood. Joshua is an alumnus of the Second City Detroit as well as a multiple Jeff Award winning director in Chicago. He is now an Emmy nominated composer for his music on Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, and his other composing credits include Wabbit, The New Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo: Shaggy’s Showdown, Teachers, and NBC’s Red Nose Day. Acting credits: Key & Peele, Reno 911, The Informant, Come Simi, All Stars, Wild n’ Out, Kong: Skull Island, and Girlboss.
    • Claudia Wallace
      The Second City is proud to announce Claudia Wallace’s appointment to Interim Casting Director for Touring Companies and Resident stages. Claudia has worked in several capacities at The Second City for over 20 years.  She’s alum of Tour Co and the Chicago Mainstage, and works as an actress/facilitator for Second City Works. Claudia is also an accomplished actress who can be seen on TV, film and on stages across the country.  She brings a wealth of knowledge to this role, and we are thrilled to have her on board. 



October 22nd from 12-2pm: Killer Konfidence

Stage fright affects every one of us.  Even seasoned performers who’ve performed for years deal with stage fright. But did you know that you could use your stage fright to create killer and creative comedy?  Learn how to manage stage fright and manipulate it to unlock your unique voice. Find your “fierce” to get to funny, confident
performances and finally enjoy being on stage!! Mirage Thrams will show you how to play with confidence, take risks and play outside of your comfort zone. $20

October 22nd from 3-5pm: The Art of Character

In this two-hour workshop you will create established, grounded characters through focusing on point-of-view, wants, physicality, heightening, relationship and the finding his or her truth by making the character relatable and memorable.  We will explore and create these characters through monologues, each other and improvisational scene work.  Find and discover your character’s voice through you andyour experiences as the inspiration. $20

October 23rd from 10-12pm: Sketch Comedy Basics

Low pressure and lots of fun! Beginners who want to tip their toe into sketch writing learn tips and tools to start sketch writing via in class writing exercises while utilizing the Second City core concept of “yes and”. $20

October 23rd from 12-2pm: Taste of Musical Improv Basics

This workshop is recommended for those interested in sampling musical improv Students are introduced to the fundamental concepts of musical improvisation. This class provides a great overview for everyoneinterested in music, Second City-style. $20

October 23rd from 2-4pm: Writing Your Late Night Packet

Not knowing where to start, what to write, or how to format can make the task of submitting a late night packet a daunting and intimidating one. Many Late Night shows have a strong point of view and make bold comedic statements about the news and state of the world. Learn how to tap into your own point of view and to write from the point of view of the host. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced writer, getting a few tips from NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop Alumna, Eileen Montelione, will take your Late Night packet writing skills to the next level! $20



JULIAN-CLARK_600x600Julian Clark – Read Bio DWAYNE-COLBERT_600x600Dwayne Colbert – Read bio
josh funkJoshua Funk – Read Bio Jen Hoyt – Read Bio
RACHNA KHATAURachna Khatau – Read Bio pishnak_carrie-ann_web_600x600Carrie-ann Pishnak – Read Bio
SC_Hollywood_Faculty_Headshot_600x600_PATRICIA_VILLETTOPatricia Villetto – Read Bio AYDREA-WALDEN_600x600Aydrea Walden – Read Bio