All in-person shows and classes have been suspended since March, and now, the legendary Chicago comedy school and theater Second City is on the block for only the second time since it was founded 61 years ago.

The pandemic is certainly taking its toll on many, many things we've grown accustomed to over the years, and the performing arts are no exception to that. When you look at all the difficulties that theaters and live entertainment venues are having due to pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, it's not all that surprising that even some of the biggest names in the business are having trouble keeping their doors open.

Chicago's Second City is one of those big names, boasting alumni ranging from Elaine May and Mike Nichols to Alan Arkin and Joan Rivers to John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Joe Flaherty, John Candy, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Steve Carell, Peter Boyle, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers, and so many more, including 25,000 enrolled students.

Second City co-owner Andrew Alexander:

What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world. While all our lives have been affected by the pandemic, The Second City has found green shoots that have further highlighted our growth potential. The company’s growth plan leverages Second City’s unique position in the comedy ecosystem as the leader in both education and live sketch and improv performance to capture market share in the short to medium term, as well as accelerate a transition toward digital delivery of programming, which is already off to a great start.



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