McCormick Place West • Chicago, IL
Online Learning Conference October 8 (pm) – 10
Certificate Programs October 7 – 8
A face-to-face event
for learning and development professionals.

Off-site field trip included!

Second City Works Field Trip

On Tuesday at 12:15 pm, the entire conference moves to Second City for lunch and a very special field trip! You'll experience: an interactive session that blends the worlds of improvisation and behavioral science, a session on the theory of comedy with practical applications, and a workshop on applying improv to solve business problems.
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Experience A Second City Works Sampler 

The Second City Works has been performing sketch comedy in front of audiences for over 49 years, making it the standard by which comedy and improv in America is judged. So much talent has come from the ranks of the company’s many theaters over the years, it reads like a who’s who of contemporary American comedy. Some of their most well-known alumni are John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, and Rachel Dratch to name a few. The Second City also works with corporate groups to create a fun, interactive and unconventional approach to training. Working with groups as small as four and as large as 18,000, they have coached the employees of hundreds of companies.

 

Keynotes: Applied Improvisation, Behavioral Science, and Comedy

Tuesday, 1:45 – 3:30 pm

Jen Ellisonlinnea-gandhiAs a director at Second City, Jen Ellison oversaw two national touring companies, developed multiple shows for their Outreach and Diversity program, and directed Apes of Wrath for the ETC stage. In addition to teaching at DePaul University, she is also a member of the Comedy Studies faculty at Columbia College Chicago.  Linnea Gandhi is an Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago and Managing Partner of the consulting firm BehavioralSight. Jen and Linnea will lead an interactive session that blends the worlds of improvisation and behavioral science. With decades of cutting-edge research that speaks to all the ways that human beings are ineffective in decision making, struggle when working in groups and are prone to mistakes in judgement, feedback and comprehension — Jen and Linnea will tee up the science and lead you through exercises that both illustrate the data and provide nudges to better behavior.

anne-liberaAnne Libera is the author of “The Second City Almanac of Improvisation” and is currently writing her new book for Northwestern University Press titled “Funnier: A Theory of Comedy with Practical Applications.” She is also the Director of Comedy Studies for Columbia College Chicago where she also coordinates the degree in Comedy Writing and Performance. Her former students include Amy Poehler, Jordan Peele, Aidy Bryant, and Ashley Nicole Black. A long-time teacher and director at Second City, Anne gives a unique view into how comedy is made and projected into the world. Whether it’s for entertainment, advertising, marketing, communication, or leadership — individuals use comedy all the time, but very few people are trained or educated in how to use comedy effectively. Anne will give you an inside look at comedy theory and application from someone who has been steeped in the work for over three decades.

 

Applied Improv Workshop

Tuesday, 3:45 – 5:00 pm

Facilitators from The Second City will lead you through an experiential workshop using the fundamentals of improv to illustrate how to be a better communicator. Through experiential exercises, they’ll highlight skills such as active listening, adaptability, and collaboration. After each exercise Second City facilitators will lead a brief discussion through what you’ve experienced and how it practically applies to your world.
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