Jan. 25, 2020

Dorothy Menker Theater

The Second CityIt all started with children’s games.

Rooted in the groundbreaking improvisational games of Viola Spolin, The Second City opened its doors on a snowy Chicago night in December of 1959, and a comedy revolution began. The small cabaret theater has grown to become the most influential and prolific comedy empire in the world, developing an entirely unique way of creating art and fostering generation after generation of superstars.

Co-founded by Spolin’s son, Paul Sills, along with Howard Alk and Bernie Sahlins, The Second City was experimental and unconventional in its approach to both theater and comedy. Almost immediately, alumni of The Second City, including
Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, launched the theater into the international spotlight.

In 1976, Second City launched SCTV, which has been hailed as one of the greatest sketch comedy series of all time. The two-time Emmy winner featured an all-star cast made up of Martin Short, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty, and Rick Moranis 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 over film,
television and beyond.

In addition to its stages, Second City Touring Companies perform electrifying revues and original productions across North America and abroad. Our creative collaborations have produced thrilling and critically acclaimed work in partnership with organizations like the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Cruise Line, the New York Comedy Festival, and the Chicago Bulls.

Second City Training Centers in Chicago, Toronto, Hollywood, and online teach thousands of students a year, and the opening of the Harold Ramis Film School in 2016 gave the world the first film school dedicated to comedy. Finally, Second City Works is an industry leader in bringing improv-based methodologies to businesses and organizations of all types.

We hope you enjoy the show...after all, it’s been almost 60 years in the making.

About the Cast

maureen

Maureen Boughey
is a member of the Second City Touring Company. With Second City, she has also performed at The Kennedy Center in Generation Gap, aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem in several sketch and improv shows, and as an understudy in the Mainstage production, Algorithm Nation or the Static Quo. She is a graduate from the Syracuse University Drama Department and is on the harold team, Revolver at iO Chicago. @maureen_boughey

max

Max Thomas
was raised on Jimi Hendrix, Rick James and soy milk. He was destined to become a comedian. His Chicago credits include NBC Break Out Comedy Festival and 2018 Bob Curry Fellow (The Second City); Dutchmasters (Jackalope Theater); In The Blood (Red Tape Theater); Jitney (Congo Square Theater); Othello (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); LAWD the CVS is Burning (MPAACT Theatre). Thomas studied at The School at Steppenwolf, Second City and B.A.D.A. When he is not acting, he is performing stand-up and spoken word improv with his team, PREACH. He thanks family, friends and James Baldwin for reminding him he is not alone.

maya

Maya Haughton
is a current ensemble member and recent Bob Curry Fellow. She performs in The Second City’s Improv Comedy Hour, After Hours: A Late Night Improv Show and Legendary Laughs. Additionally, Haughton performs with Second City Works. Previous ensembles include Under the Gun Theater, Improv Asylum’s national touring company, M.I. Productions, Second City’s Outreach and Diversity Ensemble and Second City Theatricals on the Norwegian Cruise Line Epic. She also has worked with Barrel of Monkeys Productions and PIMPROV. She’d like to thank her partner, Mars, her family and friends for their support and inspiration. Follow Maya on IG @NotYoMaya

ben

Ben Larrison
is thrilled to be performing with The Second City. He is originally from New Haven, Connecticut, and is a a graduate of the Second City Conservatory. Larrison performs regularly at The Annoyance Theatre and iO Chicago, and is the creator of the #SquirrelTruth campaign. He would like to thank his family and friends for all their incredible support. He has a website, which is benlarrison. com, and is on Twitter @benlarrison.

olivia

Olivia Nielsen
is delighted to be performing with The Second City. A New York native, she moved to Chicago after graduating from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, with a double major in theater and psychology. She has performed with Second City aboard the NCL Gem and can be seen performing around Chicago with her sketch duo, OPIE, and Lil’ Tooties (iO). She is proudly represented by Grossman and Jack Talent. She can still see when she’s smiling, so no funny business.

griffin

Griffin Wenzler
is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, where he played instrumental rock with Lasermonster. In Chicago he can be seen performing spoken comedy with Trigger Happy at the Annoyance Theater every Thursday night. He would like to thank his family and his haters for propelling him to new heights. Follow him at ILikeToCuss.com. Wenzler is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency. CAT MCDONNELL (Director) An East Coast transplant, she studied theater and music at Providence College. She has performed for The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Line and teaches in The Second City and iO Training Centers. Recent directing credits include: The Second City’s Legendary Laughs and assistant to the director of The Second City’s 107th Mainstage Revue: Algorithm Nation Or The Static Quo. Mostly, McDonnell enjoys making art with talented friends. “I love working with a bunch of people and coming up with, you know, how we can make this moment funnier?” – Jane Lynch

Cat McDonnell
(Director) An East Coast transplant, she studied theater and music at Providence College. She has performed for The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Line and teaches in The Second City and iO Training Centers. Recent directing credits include: The Second City’s Legendary Laughs and assistant to the director of The Second City’s 107th Mainstage Revue: Algorithm Nation Or The Static Quo. Mostly, McDonnell enjoys making art with talented friends. “I love working with a bunch of people and coming up with, you know, how we can make this moment funnier?” – Jane Lynch

Sam Macnerland
(Stage Manager) studied recording and sound engineering at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis. Upon returning to his hometown, Chicago, he began working at the Annoyance Theater, where he served as tech director on a number of shows including Steamworks: The Musical, Bite Size Broadway, Purity Ball: The Musical and Holy F**k Comedy Hour. He also served as tech director and stage manager for Bloodlust (iO Theater) and tech director for Iron Irene (MCL Theater).

Stuart Mott
(Music Director) is a Chicago-based music director of improv and sketch comedy. He previously music directed for The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Dawn and Breakaway and is thrilled be a part of The Second City Touring Company. Mott teaches in the music program at The Second City Training Center and can be seen playing regularly at The Annoyance, ComedySportz, and iO Chicago. He has music directed such groups as VAMP, Anarchy, Buzzed Broadway, Storytown, MINt, Shamilton, Wavelength, and Baby Wants Candy. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin—Madison.