The Second City, Chicago’s renowned improv comedy theater, is famous for launching the careers of big-name comedians like Tina Fey and John Belushi.
Now, the troupe that began in a former laundry in 1959 has an unusual new cast of recruits. Second City offers classes aimed specifically at military veterans; people on the autism spectrum; senior citizens and children as young as 4 years old. There are workshops just for cancer survivors, Parkinson’s patients and people who suffer from anxiety.
“Now we’re really focusing on improv for fill-in-the-blank,” says Kerry Sheehan, president of the Second City’s Training Center, which has rolled out more specialty classes. “We’re pretty much cradle to grave these days.”