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  • Jul 22 2014

    The Second City Chicago Training Center to Double its Pipers Alley Footprint

    The Second City, Inc. announced today the signing of a lease with Old Town Development Associates, L.L.C., to expand into additional space at Pipers Alley (230 W. North Avenue) formerly occupied by the four-screen AMC movie theater. The new space will allow The Second City Training Center, the largest school of comedy in the world, to add an array of student-centered facilities including new classrooms, two student theaters, a screening room, a student resource center, a student lounge and bar, two large special events spaces and additional space for the companies’ growing businesses. The new lease adds 25,000 square feet to The Second City Training Center's current 20,300 square feet of space essentially doubling the school's current footprint. In total, The Second City will occupy nearly 75,000 square feet in Chicago's Old Town.

    Named one of “The 25 Best Drama Schools in 2014” alongside Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School and Carnegie Mellon University by The Hollywood Reporter, The Second City continues to develop an entirely unique way of creating and performing comedy. Last month, The Second City Training Center announced the launch of its TV, Film and Digital Program, under the direction of Jack C. Newell.  New classrooms will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology including voiceover studios, on-camera training studios and editing suites to accommodate the Digital Program launch.

    "We are very excited to enhance our students' experience with the development of this new space,” says Andrew Alexander, CEO and Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc. “This will give the opportunity for more student performances in front of audiences, resources to enhance their education, places to work and collaborate, and program-specific materials and technology in classrooms. For our team, it's taking what's already a fantastic training institution and heightening it to the best experience possible for our students."

    The second-floor space at Pipers Alley first opened as a movie theater in 1991, and has been unoccupied since AMC went dark on May 26, 2011. The Training Center’s multi-million-dollar build-out begins immediately, with physical enhancements to include opening up the bricked-over 22-foot high window arches overlooking North Avenue and Wells Street.  The space is expected to be completed and serving students by spring of 2015.

    Long in the works, the expansion is in response to The Training Center’s desire to launch new and progressive programming while maintaining the high teacher to student ratio and enhancing the overall student experience. With the acquisition of the AMC space, the Second City Training Center can keep its educational programming under one roof – close to its history and next to its professional theaters. Students on a professional track can get even more stage time, and with the growth of the overall student body, additional theaters can accommodate end of term graduation performances. The new Student Resource Center will give students an actual on-site workspace.

    "For years we've been listening to student feedback and building this plan to fulfill their requests,” says Kerry Sheehan, President of the Second City Training Centers & Education Programs. “Not only will we be able to better accommodate our wait lists in core programs – such as improvisation and writing – but our newer initiatives into digital media and advanced classes for the professionally tracked student will have room to grow and thrive."

    The Second City is the leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy. With theaters and training centers in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood, 11 full-time touring ensembles, thriving corporate communications and theatricals divisions as well as television and film operations, The Second City has been called "A Comedy Empire" by The New York Times. The Second City Training Center has a current student body of 5,000 per week and is the largest school of comedy in the world.

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    More from the Chicago Tribune.


    7/22/2014 Comments (0)
  • Jul 7 2014

    Student Jacob Williams returns to Nick Cannon's Wild N Out!

    After taking our 'Acting on Camera' class and frequenting our open mics, jams and drop-ins, Jacob Williams returns as a cast member on the MTV2 improv show Wild N Out on Wednesdays at 10pm this summer. Hosted by Nick Cannon with guest stars each week, episodes will be available to stream on the show's website the day after they air.

    Say hi to Jacob on Twitter and check out the show here

    7/7/2014 Comments (0)
  • Apr 17 2014

    Congrats to Conservatory Grad Allison Tolman on 'Fargo' Lead Role

    Allison Tolman is turning heads as the lead in FX's 'Fargo', Before landing blockbuster roles, Allison was taking classes at The Second City Training Center and working hard to get ahead. Check out the inspirational Sun Times article on Allison below to find out more.

    http://voices.suntimes.com/arts-entertainment/the-daily-sizzle/fargo-the-place-to-be-for-chicagos-allison-tolman/#.U1A7uVVdWNg

    4/17/2014 Comments (0)
  • Mar 12 2014

    The Second City Announces the Bob Curry Fellowship Recipients

    The Second City is very excited to announce the recipients of the first annual Bob Curry Fellowship. The sixteen recipients are Ali Barthwell, Sam Bailey, Lisa Beasley, Shantira Jackson, Peter Kim, Lauren Malara, Torian Miller, Saliha Muttalib, Chucho Perez, Dewayne Perkins, Patrick Rowland, Rashawn Nadine Scott, Niccole Thurman, Travis Turner, Kimberly Michelle Vaughn, and Damian Jason White. 
     
    The Fellowship will begin on Tuesday, March 25th with master classes taking place at the Second City Training Center for eight weeks on Tuesday and Thursday 4pm - 7pm.

    A culminating and celebratory showcase for family, friends and Second City staff is scheduled  in the e.t.c. theatre Wednesday, May 28th. Time is yet to be determined.

    As you may be aware, this is an exciting piece of history at Second City. With this new fellowship program instituted, we are delighted to mentor the inaugural group of Bob Curry Fellowship recipients. We received over 140 submissions and auditioned 85 applicants. Thank you to all of the amazing talent who came out to auditions. These decisions were not easy, but we look forward to creating access and opening more doors for talent interested in pursuing a career in comedy!

    3/12/2014 Comments (0)
  • Mar 6 2014

    The Second City Training Center Partner with School of Rock

    The Second City Training Center and School of Rock Chicago team up to introduce Rock City Camp: An Opera of Rock, a stage-writing performance camp for teens aged 14-19, beginning July 7. Over two weeks, musical all-stars with multiple performance skills in music and theater, will create an original storyline, learn rock music and develop original music to produce a never-before-seen show. Rock City Camp will take place July 7 - 18 at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Sessions are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For consideration, please fill out an application HERE before the March 31 deadline. $1200. Needs-based scholarships are available.

    "The Second City enjoys finding partners to collaborate with in all areas of our business, from our theaters, to our corporate work, to our training initiatives," says Andrew Alexander, CEO and Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc. "This one-of-a-kind program with School of Rock is a fantastic blend of two organizations with similar ideals: expanding the education opportunities and styles for our youth students, while keeping the ideas of teamwork of creativity at the forefront of their experience."

    "School of Rock Chicago joining forces with the legacy and stage prowess of our new pals at The Second City is like having Jackie Chan, David Lee Roth, Freddy Mercury and John Belushi as your spirit animals," says Adam Mackintosh, regional manager for School of Rock Chicago. "Clearly, I'm beyond sensible words here. This might be the coolest thing I've ever been a part of."

    At the conclusion of the two-week Rock City Camp, students will perform rock classics and original songs in a two-night performance at Chicago's Athenaeum Theatre. Enrollment is open to drummers, guitarists, keyboardists, improvisers, actors, writers, vocalists and more who are ready to take their skills to the stage.

    The Second City is the leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy. With theaters and training centers in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood, 11 full-time touring ensembles, thriving corporate communications and theatricals divisions as well as television and film operations, The Second City has been called "A Comedy Empire" by The New York Times. The Second City Training Center has a current student body of 3,500 per week and is the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world.

    For more than a decade, School of Rock has been inspiring kids to rock on stage and in life. Students develop confidence, talent and skills, through beginner, intermediate and advanced music programs. School of Rock offers music lessons on guitar, bass, piano, vocals and drums in an authentic, performance-based environment. School of Rock operates 129 schools in 26 states and 8 countries, with new locations opening worldwide every month. School of Rock Chicago has been on Ashland for 7 years and has a long, successful history of providing great camp experiences across broad themes for interested families.

    Visit www.SchoolofRock.com for more information.

    Read more here.

    3/6/2014 Comments (0)