Child's Play Theatre's June Benefit Set for Second City E.T.C., 6/18

Child's Play Theatre's June Benefit Set for Second City E.T.C., 6/18

Five improv comedy teams will be the featured entertainment at Second City E.T.C. Theatre for the 35th anniversary benefit of Child's Play Touring Theatre on Wednesday, June 18. Groups performing represent Second City Training Center House Ensembles, iO Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Brouhaha and Child's Play's touring group.

They will be performing improvised versions of randomly selected children written stories in a light-hearted, comedic competition. Funds raised will go to a more serious topic that is the theme of the benefit, Be a Peace of the Puzzle, which is a writing program promoting peace and anti-violence in schools.

Performances will be judged and a winner chosen by judges:

  • Aaron Freeman, journalist, comedian, author and blogger
  • Vito Gioia, director of visitor experience, Kohl's Children's Museum
  • Jane Monzures, host, Living Social Chicago, WGN-TV
  • Cheryl Sloan, former general manager and producer, Second City

Sponsorships, a silent auction and presentation of the annual Victor Awards also are part of the benefit activities to raise funds supporting the Be a Peace of the Puzzle program. Theatres, restaurants, retail businesses, travel packages, museums, cultural arts and others are asked to donate items to raise funds that support the in-school program. Schools around the country pay Child's Play to bring their touring troupe and program to the school.

"We would like to raise enough from this benefit, and especially from corporate sponsors, to send our Be a Peace of the Puzzle program to inner city schools who can't afford to pay us and where this particular program may do the most good," said June Podagrosi, executive director and co-founder. "This program promotes peace in the school through the mouths of children. Kids love us, especially in grades K-8."

More information about the June 18 benefit is available at, including purchase of tickets, auction item donations and sponsorships. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Child's Play Touring Theatre was founded in 1978 by Victor Podagrosi and his wife June, current Executive Director who started the Victor Award in his memory. The 501(c)3 not-for-profit theatre arts page-to-stage literacy program puts writings of children on stage, which are performed by professional actors at schools around the country. More than 16,000 young authors have been represented in Child's Play productions, reaching more than 4 million people across the country.

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