Studio Be, NFP Will Become MCL Chicago

Studio Be, NFP Will Become MCL Chicago

MCL Chicago and Executive Director Aaron Shapiro has announced the name and programming change of Studio BE, NFP, 3110 N. Sheffield Ave., to MCL Chicago effective August 5. The new name signifies the organization's focus on: music, comedy and live performance (MCL). The performing arts organization will have a strong focus on its roots of music improvisation and music comedy, while having its doors open to various other performing art forms. MCL Chicago provides workshops (MCLabs) on music improvisation and music comedy, community outreach, and a venue for performances or rehearsals for Chicago's and the nation's established and emerging performing talents. In addition to Shapiro, the staff includes Michael Jordan, Alex Garday and Stephanie McCullough Vlcek, who are themselves performers, writers, producers and teachers rooted deeply in the music improv and comedy scene of Chicago.

"Chicago is the world's capital for comedy, providing more opportunities for the training and showcasing of comedic writers, performers and, especially, improvisers than any other city in the world. MCL Chicago's goal is to be a home for that brand of talent, especially for the collective of those performers who specialize in music comedy," said Executive Director Aaron Shapiro.

Shapiro went on to explain "M.I.NT. (Music Improv Night) is a great example of the performing arts organization's flagship genre. When M.I.NT. began in the spring of 2013 there were sixty-five auditioners for forty cast slots. A year later there was more than 150 people signing up to audition for the same 40 slots and a chance to perform in this weekly show. The audience size for the Wednesday night show has tripled as well. MCL Chicago is responding to this phenomenon by creating a new theater experience that delivers exceptional music comedy to theater-going audiences and increasing the visibility of this art form throughout Chicagoland and the arts communities."

MCL Chicago has also undertaken a $25,000 "Build the Magic" fundraising campaign. This campaign is for the venue's Lakeview location; increasing venue options, creating a more welcoming lobby and strengthening the infrastructure of the organization.

During the transition from Studio BE, NFP to MCL Chicago, throughout the month of July, MCL Chicago will present an overture of all the types of shows featured at the theater. For complete performance schedule go to

August will begin the new programming featuring musical improvisation, music comedy and more. MCL Chicago's newly renovated space will have performances from the likes of the Improvised Sondheim Project, M.I.NT., Mansical and more Tuesday - Saturday in its Lakeview location. For more information about MCL Chicago go to

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