From the Manchester College Archives

News Release

The Second City will have Manchester College, public, rolling in the aisles on March 11

NORTH MANCHESTER (March 2, 2004) - The "Harvard of improvisational theatre" that spawned Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, among many other hilarious political satirists and sketch comedians, is coming to Manchester College.

Chicago's The Second City sketch comedy and improvisational group will take the Cordier Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11 for a public performance. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for non-Manchester College students and seniors - a fraction of the price of tickets at The Second City performances elsewhere. For reservations, call 260-982-5551.

Troupe members will conduct two private workshops during their visit to Manchester College. Thursday afternoon, students in the college's improv troupe Controlled Catastrophe, the Alpha Psi Omega drama organization and a directing class will get up-close advice. "Students will have the opportunity to learn the values and techniques of improv performance that will serve them in any future theatrical endeavor," said Professor Scott K. Strode, chair of the Communications Studies department and director of theatre at Manchester College.  In addition, the Chicago improv experts will conduct a faculty development workshop Friday morning.

The Second City is known for its political satire and original characters. Laced with physical comedy, the troupe often takes dark themes and intertwines humor with extremely amusing results. The Second City uses a combination of storytelling, musical performance, physical comedy and improvisation. "It was obvious that all of them had worked together for some time," reported Shannon Schultz of the Ohlone College Monitor after the troupe performed at the Freemont, Calif., school.  "They were very in tune with each other."

Founded in Chicago in 1959, The Second City has become the career facilitator for some of the world's best comedians, actors, writers and directors. Many of their cast members have gone on to careers in film and television, including Saturday Night Live. Former members of The Second City Chicago included John Candy, Jim and John Belushi, Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers and Barbara Wallace.

In addition to Chicago, The Second City has theaters and training centers in Toronto, Detroit, Las Vegas and Cleveland, as well as theaters in New York and Los Angeles. For more information about The Second City, visit

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