FACULTY

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Anne Libera (Director of Comedy Studies, History and Analysis of Modern Comedy) served as Executive Artistic Director of The Second City Training Centers and Education Programs for 8 years where she is now Artistic Associate.  She has worked with The Second City since 1986 and has taught in The Training Center since 1991. Her book, The Second City Almanac of Improvisation is published by Northwestern University Press. For The Second City, she directed The Madness of Curious George and Computer Chips and Salsa, the Theatre on the Lake productions The Second City Goes to War and The Second City Looks at The Windy City as well as touring company productions that have appeared all over The United States. in Edinburgh, Scotland and Vienna, Austria.  Outside of Second City, she has directed Bunny, Bunny for Iilinois Theater Center and Stephen Colbert's one man show Describing a Circle. She reviewed theater on WGN radio and written for NPR news quiz show Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. She has been an artistic consultant to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry and serves on the governing board for Gilda's club Chicago.

Norm Holly (Creating Scenes through Improvisation) is the Artistic Director, Head of Conservatory and Acting Programs for The Second City Training Center. He has directed Second City shows including Baby Richards Got Back and 40 Oz. and a Mule. He was the Assistant Chairman of the Columbia College Theater Department for eight years and directed many productions there including Caucasian Chalk Circle with Jeff Perry and Barbara Robertson and Once in a Lifetime with Michael Maggio. Norm appeared in the New Broadway Theater production of Streamers with Dennis Farina, directed by Terry Kinney. He was director of the live comedy series Anti-Comedy I/II/III with Dino Stamotopolous and Andy Dick, on-camera director for Cinifolio (now Short), and director and producer of Second City's NBC pilot as well as dozens of revue productions.

Jen Ellison (Writing Comic Scenes, Proffessional Comedian) is a native of North Carolina and a graduate of DePaul's Theatre Conversatory.  Jen has directed, written, and performed all over Chicago.  Credits include: Trap Door Theatre, The Mammals, Comedy Sportz, Theatre Seve, Collaboraction, WNEP, and The Neo-Futurists.  Most recently, she directed Benchco's most recent review in The Skybox Theater.  Jen teaches Ethics at DePaul and Writing for The Second City Training Center.  She is also a graduate of the Second City directing program.

Tyler Dean Kempf (Writing Comic Scenes) was born and raised in Northern California. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he moved to Chicago to study at The Second City and has graduated from the Training Center's Conservatory, Writing and Directing programs. In addition to teaching in Comedy Studies, he teaches in Columba College's Television Department and at The Second City Training Center. A co-founder of Lucy Cooper Productions, Tyler has directed many web series, pilots and digital shorts, and his work has been featured on The Second City Network, The Huffington Post and Upworthy. 

Dean Evans (Physical and Vocal Training for Comedy) is a professional actor, mime artist, and clown.  He has studied mime and physical theater at The School for Mime Theatre,  The Ohio State University, and with masters Marcel Marceau, Stephen Niedzialkowsky, and Avner Eisenberg.  He is an ensemble member of The Neo-Futurists and has performed with KaPoot Clown Theater, Redmoon, Chicago Children's Theater, The Second City, and as a solo artist where he currently performs a one man Clown and Mime show called The Magical Exploding Boy.

Jeff Griggs (History and Analysis of Modern Comedy) is the author of the book Guru; My Days with Del Close and is the host for Second City's Game Night, as well as being a performer for Second City aboard NCL Cruise Ships. He has most recently directed Red, White and Blaine at IO Theater, Soap Box Derby King at the Annoyance Theatre,  No Selfie Control for the Second City Houseco and Drunk At The Kid's Table as a part of The Second City Director's Program. He has performed and taught improv at theaters and festivals around the world and in Chicago he teaches at Columbia College and is a faculty member at Second City and IO Theater. He also performs with the team Aphasia and at iO Theater with Deep Schwa. 

Rachael Mason (Acting III: Sketch and Theatrical Comedy) began her career in improvisation at Skidmore College, home of the National College Comedy Festival, with the Ad-Liberal Artists. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, concentrating on Shakespearean Studies, she moved to Chicago to study improv comedy with Del Close. She trained at The Second City, The Annoyance, and iO. Currently she performs with The Second City Improv Allstars and The Boys. She is most happy when she is teaching improv and is now the program Head of Advanced Improvisation for The Second City.

Anneliese Toft  (Acting III: Sketch and Theatrical Comedy) has worked as a director for The Second City touring company, Second City Theatricals, and for The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines. She directed Fast, Loud, and Funny currently running in the Up Comedy Club and sketch reviews in venues all over Chicago including the Annoyance Theater, Theater Wit, Stage 773, The Public House Theatre, and iO. Anneliese has also directed dozens of plays including the critically-acclaimed world premiere of Tammy: a Coming of Age Story About a Girl Who is Part T-Rex (now published by Playscripts, Inc). Upcoming projects include Second City’s collaboration with the Lyric Opera, Longer! Louder! Wagner!

HALL OF FAME

Sheldon Patinkin (guest instructor) is the Chair Emeritus of the Theatre Department of Columbia College Chicago, Artistic Director of the Getz Theater of Columbia College, Artistic Consultant of The Second City and of Steppenwolf Theatre and Co-Director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Summer Ensemble Workshops. Among recent directing projects outside of the College have been the world premiere of Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited at the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre and at the 59E59 Theatre in New York, The Glass Menagerie for the Gift Theater Company, South Pacific at the Metropolis Art Center, Uncle Vanya at Steppenwolf, Long Day's Journey into Night at the Irish Rep and the Galway Festival in Ireland, and Krapp's Last Tape for the Buckets of Beckett Festival, both starring John Mahoney, as well as concert stagings of opera scenes and excerpts for the Lyric Opera Center at the Grant Park and Ravinia Festival Concerts. He received a Jeff Award for directing his Irving Berlin revue Puttin' on the Ritz and a special Jeff for his contribution to Chicago theater. His translation of Brecht's The Good Person of Setzuan was directed by Frank Galati at the Goodman Theatre. His book The Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater was published by SourceBooks in 2000 and No Legs, No Jokes, No Chance, his text book on the history of the American musical, will be published by Northwestern University Press in the spring of 2007. He was an influential artist in the chicago community and a teacher that positively affected many students' lives. He will be greatly missed.

Michael Gellman (Acting III: Sketch and Theatrical Comedy) was a Resident Company member of The Second City Chicago for three years, has directed at The Second City, and is on the Senior Faculty of The Second City Training Center. He was nominated for Outstanding Director for the national Dora Mavor Moore Award in Canada and the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago, and he won the Detroit Free Press Award for Best Comedy. Michael served as Artistic Director of Chicago Theatre Works and Wavelength and as an Artistic Associate of Organic Theater. In addition to The Second City Training Center, Michael has taught at Columbia College, Northern Illinois University and Artistic New Directions. His book Process, co-written with Mary Scruggs is being published by Northwestern University Press.

Peter Gwinn (Context of Comedy) is one of the original writers of The Colbert Report for which he won two Emmy awards, two Peabody awards and three Writers' Guild Awards.  He is a founding member of the musical improv troupe, Baby Wants Candy, which has performed successful runs in Chicago, New York City, and Edinburgh, Scotland.  Peter is also a regular performer and teacher at The Upright Citizen's Brigade in New York and also iO and The Second City in Chicago.  With Bobby Mort, he co-wrote Second City's the Christmas Carol for LA's Central Theatre Group.  Peter is also the author of the book Group Improvisation: The Manual of Ensemble Improv Games. 

Jet Eveleth (Physical and Vocal Training for Comedy) is a member of iO Theater's improv ensemble The Reckoning and currently improvises in the show Pleasant Valley and The Armando Diaz Experience. Jet has created and toured Ted and Melanie, Touched and I Live Next Door To Horses, winner of the Del Close Award for Best Scripted Show. She recently wrote and directed the sitcom pilot Ditched and played the role of Deborah in the film American Legacy. She was included in Best Of Chicago's Stand-Up, and was listed as New City's 2009 "People Who Perform" and is the artistic director of the Chicago Improv Festival.

Mary Scruggs (Writing Comic Scenes) was the Head of Writing and Education Programs for The Second City Training Center. She wrote The Fairy Trials, a series of nationally acclaimed plays for the Circuit Court of Cook County which teach the public about their court system and have played for audiences of all ages throughout Cook County and beyond for twenty years. Mary's other playwriting credits include What Every Girl Should Know, a co-adaptation with Susan Messing, produced by The Annoyance Theater; Karma, developed at the Lakeside Writing Studio, produced by Live Bait Theatre; Bedtime Stories at the Skybox Theater, Off The Grid and War Times at the Boxer Rebellion Theatre, and Revelations, winner of the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Contest. Mary was the lyricist and co-librettist for Camp Nimrod For Girls at Live Bait Theatre. While in Los Angeles, she sold a script for Designing Women, developed a sitcom for Hearst Entertainment and wrote a handful of jokes for Barry Manilow. Acting experience includes performing in "Hellcab" at Famous Door and playing various battered women seeking justice for Circuit Court public service videos and training seminars. In the education field, she has written curriculum for The Fairy Trials and other court projects, and she served on a citywide panel to develop the Arts Education Standards for in the Chicago Public Schools. Her book Process, co-written with Michael Gellman is being published by Northwestern University .  She will be greatly Pressmissed.

Andy Miara (Writing comic scenes) is a playwright and director whose work has been produced in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Charleston and Chicago.  He has written and directed sketch shows that have appeared in comedy festivals around the country, including "Ludlow and Canal" in the San Francisco Sketchfest and "MAUI" in The Chicago Sketchfest.  In 2004, Andy collaborated with the international theatre group, TheatreRun, to create Russian Doll, which played at Consolidated Works in Seattle (where it was commissioned) and later at The Spoleto Arts Festival.  Andy has also written video sketches for The Onion News Network and questions for a VH1 game show.  He has worked as a writer's assistant on Saturday Night Live and as a writer in the communications office of George Soros' Open Society Institute.  He has also directed one of The Second City‘s National Touring Companies.  Mr. Miara is a graduate of Columbia University with degrees in film studies and creative writing. After nine semesters teaching in this program, Andy has left in August 2012 to become head writer for The Onion News Network.