“Columbia’s location in Chicago, arguably the most active and influential city in the world of improv and sketch comedy, makes the college uniquely suited to offer a comedy concentration,” notes Warrick L. Carter, president of Columbia College Chicago. “The degree was created in response to student interest in experiential learning in the field of comedy at a time when such programs are rare.”
“One of the qualities that makes Second City alumni so successful is that they're not only actors, but they're also writers, which means they're always able to create their own projects,” adds Andrew Alexander, CEO & Executive Producer of The Second City, Inc., as well as a trustee at Columbia College. “This program fits perfectly into Columbia College's overall experiential curriculum creating students that are not only knowledgeable about their chosen field, but they're also ready to work.”
Alumni of the existing Columbia College/Second City Comedy Studies semester are already making a name for themselves in the comedy world as performers and writers. Two include Aidy Bryant (B.A. ’09), recently added to the Saturday Night Live cast, and CJ Toledano (B.A. ‘11), who has worked as a staff writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and most recently for The Onion News Network.
“There are more opportunities for careers in comedy than ever before,” explains Anne Libera, director of Comedy Studies at The Second City and adjunct theatre faculty member/coordinator of the new degree program at Columbia College.
“This comedy writing and performance degree will provide the intensive “cross training” in writing, performing and producing as well as the networking opportunities that are necessary for success in this field.”
For more information about the new Comedy Writing and Performance Specialization, visit www.colum.edu/comedy.