An Incomplete History of Comedy in Hyde Park

October 17, 2009

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photo credit: Mike Boehmer

Hyde Park lore includes not only the atomic bomb's invention in the basement of what became the Regenstein Library, but also the birth of The Second City as a comedy troupe of University of Chicago students. Anne Libera, executive artistic director of The Second City Training Centers, and Sheldon Patinkin, founding member of The Second City and chair emeritus of the Columbia College Chicago Theater Department, help separate truth from fiction in the telling of this second tale.

They transport us from the early 1950s and the Playwrights Theater Club, through the Compass Players of Alan Arkin, Elaine May, and Mike Nichols fame, to the present-day Chicago institution, revealing how improvisational theater forms pioneered in Hyde Park changed the course of comedy.

Presented in partnership with The Second City and International House Global Voices Performing Arts Program.

 

Recorded Saturday, October 17, 2009 at International House.