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  • May 31 2012

    Student Headshot Day - June 15th and 16th

    The Second City Training Center will be offering a discounted Headshot Day for students on June15th and June 16th (10am-5pm) with guest artist Sally Blood ( Sessions are 1 hour long and include a 15-minute corrective make-up session and 45-minute shoot. Each session is $200 ($75 deposit needed on day of reservation). Participants receive access to all unedited photos via a photo share gallery and can include touched-up, full-color proofs for an additional $25 each, to be arranged directly with the photographer. Reproductions are not included at this time, although there will be information on-hand for slightly discounted reproductions. Email Andrew Thorp at with any questions or time requests

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  • May 31 2012

    Second City Training Center Staff Members Performing at "Chicago Women's Funny Festival"

    Check out Second City Training Center staff member, Jessica Antes, and her sketch ensemble, "Just The Tip," at this year's "Chicago Women's Funny Festival" at Stage 773. Tickets for "Just The Tip" (Sunday June 10th at 7pm) are on sale now!

    Nancy Fast, Student Services Coordinator at The Second City Training Center, will be hosting a night of "CWFF" stand-up starting at 10pm on Saturday, June 9th.

    Don't miss these hilarious ladies in action!

    About "Chicago Women's Funny Festival"
    Curated by Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival Executive Director Jill Valentine, the "Chicago Women's Funny Festival" will celebrate not only sketch comedy, but all forms of comedy including stand up, vaudeville, improvisational, musical and more. Celebrating the best in local, and national, female comediennes, the first "Chicago Women's Funny Festival" runs June 6 – 10

    About "Just The Tip"
    "Just the Tip" brings hilarious and crowd pleasing characters, situations, song, and dance based on their unique experiences and satirical point of view. These ladies have been seen in festivals across the county and all over Chicago. A night with "Just the Tip," you're sure to experience big, hard... laughs.

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  • May 22 2012

    The Second City Training Center Spotlight with Mark Pfeffer!

    The Second City Training Center interviews Mark Pfeffer, Director of the Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center, in the latest Training Center Spotlight. Mark teamed up with The Second City TC to develop 'Improv for Anxiety', a program designed to help sufferers of various forms of anxiety recover by using a combination of improvisation and therapy. Visit Mark's website for more information:

    Listen to the Podcast!

    About Mark Pfeffer, M.S. LMFT
    Mark Pfeffer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Illinois and California. He is Director of the Panic/Anxiety Recovery Center in Chicago. PARC is a specialized outpatient program that provides comprehensive treatment for anxiety and related disorders. Mark received his Master's degree in Psychology from Boston University with additional post-graduate work at UCLA. He also served as the Commissioner of Social Services for the City of Santa Monica and is an active clinical member of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) and International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).

    Mark has appeared on multiple episodes of the A&E's Emmy® nominated show Hoarders, the Discovery Channel, and the National Geographic Channel. He has been featured and quoted regarding mental health issues in various media outlets including: ABC7 Chicago; CBS2 Chicago; NBC; CLTV Chicago; Chicago Tribune; Pioneer Press, WGCI-FM and Home & Garden magazine. He has also authored numerous publications, and was a recipient of the 2002 "Golden Bell" award from the Mental Health Association of Illinois for an article he co-authored on Panic Disorder.

    5/22/2012 Comments (0)
  • May 21 2012

    Jane Lynch Teaches Smith College Grads An Important Lesson She Learned at The Second City

    While performing the commencement speech at Smith College, Jane Lynch shared with grads the importance of "Yes and," a fundamental rule of improvisation that she learned at The Second City. See how "Yes and" transformed Jane Lynch's life by watching the whole commencement speech below:

    5/21/2012 Comments (1)
  • May 9 2012

    The Second City Announces Auditions for New Resident Teen Troupe

    Teen publication, The Mash, invites teen readers to help name the youth company

    The Second City is proud to announce auditions for its first resident teen company on June 1 and 2, 2012. Open to 13 to 17 year olds, this company will have a regular weekly performance spot at The Second City.  The new teen troupe will be sponsored in part by The Mash, Chicago Tribune's teenage media brand.

    Teen Troupe Auditions will be held on Friday, June 1 (4:00 - 6:00pm) and Saturday, June 2, 2012 (10:00am - 5:00pm). Call backs to these auditions will be announced at a later date. Anyone in the age range of 13 - 17 may audition. The audition itself will primarily be made up of improvisation.

    "In the past five years we've seen tremendous growth and incredible talent coming out of our youth classes and summer camps," says The Second City's CEO/Executive Producer Andrew Alexander. "It seemed only fitting that we provide more resources to these talented teens and a regular stage to share their unique voices."

    Interested teens are invited to email a current picture (head shot if available) and your contact information (full name, age, email address and phone number - or a proper resume) ON THURSDAY, MAY 17 - 20 to: Subject line: Teen Troupe. Please note space is limited so we may not be able to accommodate all applicants. A waiting list will be taken.

    The Mash - Chicago Tribune's teenage newspaper and journalism program - will help Second City encourage Chicago youth to suggest creative names for the new company. The Chicago-wide contest to name the new company will launch in The Mash newspaper and on on May 17th. The contest is open to teens only, ending June 10th, and prizes include Second City comedy packages, tickets, cash and a congratulatory ad in the newspaper.

    "The Mash is thrilled to partner with Second City to help rally Chicago teens around this launch," says Mash General Manager, Maggie Wartik. "There's no better way to empower kids through creative expression than by putting the name itself into their hands, allowing them to be part of the artistic process. Second City's newest venture is especially exciting for us."

    The Second City Training Center offers classes, workshops and camps for students ages 4-18, in improv, comedy writing, acting, music improv, physical comedy and video. During the summer months, Second City hosts over 700 teens from all over the world for 2 week camps focusing on sketch and improv. Second City is currently registering for summer camps which will run from June 11-August 31. Call 312-664-3959 for information or online at

    5/9/2012 Comments (1)
  • May 2 2012

    The Columbia Chronicle Covers Our "Improv for Anxiety" Class

    "To many, the pressure of jumping on stage and entertaining an audience with improvisation can induce anxiety. But Second City’s new “Improv for Anxiety Boot Camp” is aiming to do the opposite by using humor to treat the condition..."

    To read the full article visit The Cloumbia Chronicle.

    The first "Improv for Anxiety Boot Camp" session will began April 30 at the Second City comedy club, 1616 N. Wells St.

    5/2/2012 Comments (0)
  • May 1 2012

    Congrats To Training Center Faculty Member John Hildreth On His 2012 Jeff Nomination!

    The Jeff Committee, honoring excellence in Chicago theatres, selected John Hildreth as a nominee in the "Best New Adaptation" category for his work on "Watership Down" at Lifeline Theater. John teaches in the Improv, Writing, and Conservatory programs at The Second City Training Center and is running a specialty class called "Games! Games! Games" starting this Friday. For more information on classes, call 312.664.3959. To see the list of this years nominees, click here

    About John Hildreth
    John Hildreth is an alumnus of The Second City appearing in three revues at The Second City, Northwest including Casino Evil, three revues at The Second City, e.t.c. including White Water for Chocolate, and directing five consecutive revues for The Second City, Detroit including Generation X-Files. More recently he directed Second City...In Color at Theatre on the Lake and three revues with The Second City's Diversity and Outreach Program including Wii the People. John also recently appeared for The Second City as Roland Burris in Rod Blagojevich Superstar!, in Apparently Heaven Can't Wait: The Best of Jim Zulevic at The Second City, and in Disgruntled Employee Handbook: A Musical.

    About The Second City Training Center
    Chicago is the world capital of improvisation (improv) and sketch comedy, and The Second City is in the heart of it. For over fifty years The Second City has created a wealth of comedic material from a legendary group of performers. The Training Center follows the traditions developed by these groundbreaking and innovative men and women while encouraging the continued growth and development of the art forms of comedy and improvisation. Today, The Second City Training Center is the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world.

    About the Jeff Awards
    The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. With 50 members representing a wide variety of backgrounds in theatre, the Jeff Awards is committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago area theatre by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards, and honors. The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community. The Jeff Awards evaluates over 250 theatrical productions and holds two awards ceremonies annually. Originally chartered to recognize only Equity productions, the Jeff Awards established the Non-Equity Wing in 1973 to celebrate outstanding achievement in non-union theatre.

    5/1/2012 Comments (0)