West Shore Community College’s Center Stage Theater will be filled with laughter as the iconic sketch and improvisational comedy troupe, “The Second City,” takes the stage Thurs., Sept. 20, and Fri., Sept, 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Rooted in the improvisational theater games of Viola Spolin, the cabaret was founded in Chicago in 1959, and has since grown to become one of the most influential and prolific comedy empires in the world, developing an entirely unique way of creating art and fostering generation after generation of superstars. Almost immediately, alumni of The Second City including Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, Gilda Radner, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, launched the theater into the international spotlight.
Today, The Second City is home to a world-class entertainment company, continuing to produce premier talent in all three of its locations – Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood – and entertaining more than one million audience members a year. From Steve Carell to Keegan-Michael Key, Stephen Colbert to Tina Fey, Chris Farley to Mike Myers – Second City’s imprint is all of film, television and beyond.
“When it comes to improvisational and sketch comedy, no other theater company has a history as solid as ‘The Second City,’” said Michelle Kiessel, theater initiatives coordinator at the College.
In addition to their evening performances, “The Second City” cast will be leading workshops with high school students, college students and community members while they are in town.
“We have decided to open up an improvisation lecture/demonstration workshop to the general public on Friday. I hope community members, college and high school students take advantage of this phenomenal opportunity to explore what happens behind the scenes at “The Second City” and even join in on the action!” said Kiessel.
This workshop will explore the secrets of Second City comedy as attendees participate in games or just watch and learn. The troupe will introduce the essential elements of Second City style scenic improvisation through a combination of lecture and audience participation.
The workshop will be held at Center Stage Theater from 12:30 – 2 p.m. and will be free. As capacity is limited, email firstname.lastname@example.org for groups of 10 or more.
“Audiences should come prepared to laugh and have a great time while they watch the next generation of comedic actors on our very own stage at WSCC,” says Kiessel
She adds, “The Best of Second City is rated for audiences ages 16 and older. Much of the show is based on suggestions from the audience and, while the actors will do their best to keep the topics somewhat clean, it’s difficult to predict what may arise in the hilarity of the moment.”
Tickets for both evening performances are available by calling the Center Stage Theater Box Office at (231) 843-5507 or by visiting mynorthtickets.com.