Godfrey To Host Second City Breakout Festival
The Second City is pleased to announce the hottest up-and-coming diverse comedic voices in a weekend of events taking place in Chicago June 6-9, 2019. The exciting five day event kicks off with the 6th annual Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase on Wednesday, June 6th highlighting 16 of the best and brightest improvisers and sketch performers on the rise. Anchoring the weekend is The Second City and NBC's 5th Annual Break Out Comedy Festival, which spotlights a four day lineup of artists from across the country. Headlining host and returning Chicago native Godfrey (Comedy Central, VH1, BET) takes the mic on Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th, with guest hosts Second City alum Christina Anthony (Comedy Central, Key and Peele) on Thursday, June 6th, and the Chicago Tribune's Comedian of the Year 2017 Felonious Munk (Comedy Central, Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains)) on Sunday, June 9th.
The Break Out Comedy Festival was created in 2015 as part of a relationship between NBC and The Second City with the goal of showcasing some of the hottest, emerging and seasoned multicultural comedic acts in stand-up, sketch and improv. Back for its fifth year, this year's fest will include a lineup of Chicago favorites and fresh new comedic acts such as T Murph (Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level, Key and Peele) and Becca Brown (HBO's Women in Comedy Festival, NBC's Comedy Spotlight Series). More top-notch performers will be announced as the festival approaches.
The Second City has long been known as a training ground where comedians come to hone their craft, and the Break Out Comedy Festival is one of the best opportunities for emerging diverse talent to showcase their talents. Break Out Comedy Festival performers have gone on to be featured in television programs on HBO, Comedy Central, and NBC, have been chosen as New Faces at Montreal's Just For Laughs Fest, and so much more.
"Each year, we provide an exciting platform not only for our audiences, but for agents and late night bookers to witness new comedic perspectives that we rarely hear," said Dionna Griffin-Irons, Director of Diversity Talent and Development. "It's a unique opportunity to see comics on a Second City stage before they breakout in TV or film projects."
Before the Break Out Comedy Festival begins, the festivities kick off on Wednesday, June 5th with the Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase. The 6th annual cohort features a master comedy program, comprised of 16 fellows representing a diverse makeup of multicultural, POC, and LGBTQ voices, directed by Second City Co-Artistic Director, Matt Hovde. The one-night-only showcase highlights the culmination of ten weeks of improv training and professional development with a two-act performance featuring original sketches and the best of Second City's archival scenes.
The 2019 Bob Curry Fellows are: Robel Arega, Ben Cumings, Steven Dionne, Vanessa Garcia, Richard Gomez, Jimmy Gribbin, Rachel Allison Hall, Masood Haque, Caleb Hearon, Phylicia McLeod, Manuela Mendoza, Devin Middleton, Alyssa Rivera, André Sampson, Hannah Starr and Xu.
Building upon a unique partnership established with NBC, The Bob Curry Fellowship is a professional mentoring and development program focused on cultivating the best new voices in improv and sketch comedy. A highly competitive and rigorous process, applicants must audition to be considered for the program. In 2019, over 230 applicants submitted with sixteen diverse actors and improvisers selected. The Bob Curry Fellowship expanded to The Second City Toronto in 2016, and launched its first annual fellowship at The Second City Hollywood last summer.
This fellowship has seen several graduates go on to successful Second City careers, including Tyler Davis and Kimberly Michelle Vaughn, ensemble players in the current Second City Chicago Mainstage production of Algorithm Nation or The Static Quo, and Atra Asdou and E.J. Cameron ensemble members in the new e.t.c.'s 43rd revue Grinning from Fear to Fear, as well as numerous other fellows in the Second City Touring Company and other Second City produced shows like The Kennedy Center's Generation Gap.
"Second City's Bob Curry Fellowship and Break Out Comedy Festival helped me find my voice as a biracial queer musical comedian," said returning Break Out comedic act Becca Brown. "Since my first Break Out debut in 2015, I've gotten the opportunity to perform my stand-up on a wide variety of platforms, including The Paper Machete, Chicago Ideas Week, HBO's Women in Comedy Festival, and NBC's Comedy Spotlight Series. I am thrilled to continue bringing my voice to other exciting platforms in the near future."
The Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase
Second City's e.t.c. Theater (230 W North Ave, 2nd Floor of Piper's Alley)
Wednesday, June 5 at 8pm
Tickets, $15, 312-337-3992, www.secondcity.com
5th Annual NBC Second City Break Out Comedy Festival
Second City's UP Comedy Club (230 W North Ave, 3rd Floor of Piper's Alley)
June 6 - 9, 2019
Tickets: $20-$30, 312-337-3992, www.secondcity.com
Thursday, June 6 at 7:30pm ($20-$25): Hosted by Christina Anthony
Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 at 7:30pm and 10pm ($20-30): Hosted by Godfrey
Sunday, 9 at 7:30pm ($20-$25): Hosted by Felonious Munk