If laughter is the best medicine, then The Second City is its biggest dispensary. The comedy empire that produced Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Keegan-Michael Key believes everyone can benefit from funny business, and shows how during The Second City Comedy Workshops at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, August 1-12.
For the third year, NJPAC collaborates with the Chicago-based institution to offer an immersion course in comedy improv and writing for adults, and two sets of classes for teens, including From the Inside Out, which is specifically tailored to students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Second City’s resident teaching artists will conduct classes at NJPAC’s Center for Arts Education at 24 Rector St., Newark.
From the Inside Out is a groundbreaking program for teens ages 14-18, diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and/or autism. In a safe and fun environment, students will be encouraged to break through barriers that block creativity and socialization. Leading these classes will be Nick Johne, an alumnus of Second City’s training program and a professional actor from one of Second City’s resident stages, along with an improv partner, Molly Fisher, who has a degree in speech and theater and works in the field of special education.
“From the Inside Out takes the benefits of improvisational play – listening skills, creativity, and safety to take risk – and provides them to these youths in a way that’s unparalleled in traditional curriculum,” says Kerry Sheehan, President of Second City Training Centers and Education Programs.
The Second City Comedy Workshops being offered this summer at NJPAC are:
- Teen Improv and Sketch Comedy Workshop for ages 14-18, August 1-12
- From the Inside Out for teens ages 14-18 diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and/or autism, August 8-12
- Adult Improvisation and Comedy Writing Immersion, ages 19 and up, August 8-12
“At NJPAC we are always looking to present lifelong opportunities to a variety of constituencies. Working with a world-class institution such as The Second City offers NJPAC a new way to bring professional-level comedy improvisation training to teens and adults alike,” explains Alison Scott-Williams, NJPAC’s Vice President of Arts Education.
Just in time for Election Day, the legendary Second City brings its unique brand of satire back to NJPAC on October 29 to celebrate electioneering in the Garden State. Paved & Confused 2: Please Don’t Feed the Candidates is a funny, fast-paced look at this year’s presidential campaign circus, Jersey life and the politics that play into it.
With is roots in the improvisational games of Viola Spolin, The Second City developed an entirely unique way of creating and performing comedy. Founded by Spolin’s son, Paul Sills, along with Howard Alk and Bernie Sahlins, The Second City was experiment and unconventional in its approach to both theater and comedy. Today, the Second City continues to produce premier comic talent.
Major support for Arts Education programs at NJPAC is provided by the Prudential Foundation, Women’s Association of NJPAC, Victoria Foundation, ADP, Merck Foundation, BD, PSEG Foundation, and Berkeley College.