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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)
  • Jun 23 2011

    Send Your Kids to Second City Fantasy Camp – August 1 – 4

    This summer, we're excited to bring our summer camp to Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas! For 5 day/4 nights, we're training 11 – 14 in the art of improvisation and helping them to write an original show that's all their own. The Second City Fantasy Camp includes all training & instruction from Second City teachers, lunch for 3 days and an amenity package. Click here for complete details.

    6/23/2011 Comments (0)
  • Feb 10 2011

    Thank You, Joyce Sloane

    To remember and celebrate Joyce Sloane, we created the following tribute video and we hope you enjoy it. Thank you to all of our alumni, friends and family who were able to join us and for those who have included us in their thoughts and prayers.

    2/10/2011 Comments (0)
  • Jun 23 2010

    Beloved Almuni Gerry Salsberg Passes Away

    Beloved Second City Alumnus Gerry Salsberg passed away last night in Toronto. Gerry appeared on the Toronto Second City stage in 1973, and enjoyed decades of success in character roles on television. The Second City extends its condolences to Gerry’s family and many colleagues.

    Services for Gerry Salsberg will be held Thursday, June 24th at Steeles Memorial Chapel, 350 Steeles Ave West, Toronto. Memorial donations may be made to the Starlight Foundation (416-502-9474) or to the Hospital for Sick Children (416-813-5320).

    6/23/2010 Comments (15)
  • Jun 10 2010

    Former Training Center Student Craig Robinson to Host Last Comic Standing

    Craig Robins, best known for his work on "The Office" is going to be the emcee on the upcoming season of Last Comic Standing.

    In a Boston Herald article Craig says he feels like a father to the young comics.

    Before Craig hit it big with "The Office" and later Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Hot Tub Time Machine he was a Chicago based touring comic. He played venues all across the world, including Mexico, Amsterdam, and Israel.

    6/10/2010 Comments (5)
  • May 26 2010

    Alum Tina Fey to Receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

    Congratulations! Second City alum Tina Fey has been selected to receive the 13th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The Kennedy Center will present the 13th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Tina Fey on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The award, named to honor one of the world’s greatest humorists, and will feature a lineup of the biggest names in comedy, and will be taped for television broadcast. She is the youngest recipient of this prestigious award.

    For more information, visit The Kennedy Center's Website.

    5/26/2010 Comments (0)
  • May 21 2010

    Mike Myers Talks about His Training at Second City

    Alum Mike Myers appeared today on Live with Regis and Kelly to promote the upcoming movie Shrek, Forever After. During the interview, Myers was asked to name the most influential teacher in his life. Myers responded with two; one was a public school teacher he had during his years in the Toronto school system and the other was our own Del Close, who taught him at The Second City. Myers goes on to say that his time at The Second City proved to be some of the most important years of his life of his life. Del taught him that a true artist "makes things." "So when you ask me what I do," said Myers, "I say I make things."

    5/21/2010 Comments (0)
  • May 13 2010

    Farley Bros. Radio: LIVE From Second City Hollywood!

    Farley Brothers Radio is now being recorded LIVE from The Second City in Hollywood! Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes for a brutally honest, wickedly funny, viewer-discretion-advised confab on all things Farley. Listen in as Kevin & John spin tales of sex, drugs and comedy alongside their hilarious takes on life, love and family. From Madison to Hollywood, it's a conversation undeniably Farley. Hosted by John & Kevin Farley with Carissa Kosta.

    Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

    Live in LA? Come watch them LIVE every Saturday at 7pm.
    Tickets are available on our website.

    5/13/2010 Comments (0)
  • May 13 2010

    The Week According To Frangela Podcast: LIVE From The Second City Hollywood!

    Frangela, featuring alums Frances Callier and Angela Shelton, is now recording their weekly podcast, "The Week According To Frangela" LIVE from The Second City Hollywood! Frangela takes the news of the week and puts their hilarious spin on it. You've seen them on VH1's Best Week Ever, heard them nationally on Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes and locally in LA on KTLK. Now catch their show live and in person. Jonathan Gold of the LA Weekly says Frangela is "a blast of common sense amid the pasty drone of their sub-Limbaugh competitors." "The Week According to Frangela" is The Daily Show meets the Radio with a whole lot of funny attitude.

    Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

    Live in LA? Come watch them LIVE every Saturday at 8pm.
    Tickets are available on our website.

    5/13/2010 Comments (2)
  • May 7 2010

    PUMA Scholarship Update

    Thank you to all of the talent who applied for our scholarship this year.

    With over 200 scholarship applications received nationwide from Los Angeles to Atlanta to win a free year of training at The Second City Chicago or Hollywood, we've narrowed our talent pool to 26 lucky finalists.

    Starting Wednesday, May 5 - Thursday, May 6 -- the finalist group comprised of ambitious actors, comics, improvisers and novices will participate in a free improv workshop taught by resident director Mick Napier, enjoy a PUMA shopping spree, attend a Mainstage show and show off their skills and talent in an improv audition.

    5/7/2010 Comments (6)