The Second City will bring diverse new voices to the forefront of the comedy world with a series of events June 6 - 9, 2018. The weekend kicks off with the 5th annual Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase, featuring 16 of the best and brightest new voices in comedy. The 4th annual NBCUniversal Second City Break Out Comedy Festival, which spotlights rising talent from across the country, will be hosted by incomparable comic Godfrey (Comedy Central, VH1, BET), Second City alumnus David Pompeii (Comedy Central, Key and Peele) and special guest Azhar Usman (Comedy Cellar of NY).
“The Diversity and Inclusion program was formally introduced over 25 years ago as part of Second City’s ongoing mission. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the Bob Curry and BreakOut Festival events, which are the centerpieces of the initiative and a vital part of the overall programming at Second City,” said Dionna Griffin-Irons, Director of Diversity Talent and Development. “No fan of comedy should miss out on this weekend exploding with fresh, diverse voices.”
The Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase
Second City’s e.t.c. Theater (230 W North Ave, 2nd Floor of Piper’s Alley)
Wednesday, June 6 at 8pm
Tickets, $15, 312-337-3992, www.secondcity.com
The 5th annual cohort of the Bob Curry Fellowship program, comprised of 16 of the best and brightest new voices in comedy, will perform together in the Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase, directed by Second City Co-Artistic Director, Matt Hovde. The showcase will highlight ten weeks of master improv training, with original material and best of Second City archival scenes.
The 2018 Bob Curry Fellows are: Angela Alise, Trumane Alston, Damian Anaya, Aaron Branch, Menaka Delekar, Jillian Ebanks, George Elrod, Steve Han, Maya Haughton, Jarid Igbal, Asia Martin, Julia Morales, Yazmin Ramos, Ana Silva, Max Thomas and Shadee Vossonghi.
Building upon a unique partnership established with Universal Television, the Bob Curry Fellowship is a professional mentoring and development program focused on cultivating the best new voices in improv and sketch comedy. A highly competitive and rigorous process, applicants must audition to be considered for the program. In 2018, over 250 applicants submitted with sixteen diverse actors and improvisers from a diverse, array of multicultural, ethnic backgrounds being selected. The Bob Curry Fellowship is offered bi-annually at Second City Toronto, and an inaugural program launches at The Second City Hollywood this summer.
The success of The Bob Curry Fellowship program is felt on Second City’s stages, as several participants in the fellowship have been cast in The Second City’s professional companies. Tyler Davis and Tien Tran are graduates of the fellowship who now perform in the current Second City Chicago Mainstage production of Dream Freaks Fall from Space, with numerous other fellows touring with the Second City Touring Company and Second City Theatricals.
4th Annual NBCUniversal Second City Break Out Comedy Festival
Second City’s UP Comedy Club (230 W North Ave, 3rd Floor of Piper’s Alley)
June 7 - 9, 2018
Tickets: $10-$25, 312-337-3992, www.secondcity.com
Thursday, June 7 at 7:30pm ($20-$25): Hosted by David Pompeii
with special guest Azhar Usman
Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9 at 7:30pm and 10pm ($20-$25): Hosted by Godfrey
Saturday, June 9 at midnight ($10): Hosted by Azhar Usman
Back for its fourth year, this dynamic partnership with NBCUniversal and Second City will again showcase some of the hottest emerging and seasoned diverse comedic acts in stand-up, sketch and improv from around the country. This year’s Break Out Comedy Festival includes hosts Godfrey (Comedy Central, VH1, BET), David Pompeii (Comedy Central, Key and Peele), Azhar Usman (Comedy Cellar of NY) and a lineup of Chicago favorites and emerging comedic acts.
On Thursday, June 7, veteran Chicago stand-up comics Calvin Evans and Alex Kumin will perform, along with up-and-coming new talent. Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9performances will include New York-based comics Paul Elia (Conan), Adam Mamawala (Funny or Die’s Top 30 Under 30 Comedians to Watch) and Kerry Codett (BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede), Toronto-based comedian Carol Zoccoli and newcomer Max Desolhn from Seattle. All shows will also feature select graduates of the Bob Curry Fellowship Program.
About Bob Curry
Bob Curry was Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actor and director. In 1966, Curry became the first African-American to join The Second City’s resident company before joining what evolved into the first-ever touring company. In 1986, he received a Jeff Award for the Northlight Theatre production of Boesman and Lenam, tying for Best Supporting Actor with Danny Glover. An inspired director, Curry coached many actors of color in the Chicago theatre community on several projects, and he directed Paul Robeson at Kennedy-King College shortly before his death in 1994.
About NBCUniversal Talent Development & Inclusion
NBCUniversal Talent Development & Inclusion hosts a variety of programs and events and partners with other entertainment entities to develop, nurture, showcase and provide networking opportunities for new and diverse actors, writers, directors and other talent. The programs include Late Night Writers Workshop, NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, NBCU Emerging Directors Program, Writers on the Verge, StandUp NBC, Scene Showcase, the Casting Apprentice Program and the Diverse Staff Writer Initiative, among others. For more information, please log onto www.nbcunitips.com.
About The Second City
Since opening its doors 1959, The Second City has grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theater and school of improvisation, entertaining 1 million theatergoers a year around the globe. Alumni of The Second City’s resident stages, touring companies, and theatrical divisions include some of the biggest names in entertainment, and in addition to the sold-out shows playing nightly on resident stages in Chicago and Toronto, the comedy empire has staged productions with a wide range of illustrious creative partners and theatre companies, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Goodman Theatre, Center Theater Group Los Angeles, Portland Center Stage, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, La Jolla Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and even the Chicago Bulls.