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Joyce Sloane Dead at 80

Joyce Sloane at an event
Joyce Sloane at an event
Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Joyce Sloane, Producer Emeritus of The Second City, passed away the night of February 4th, 2011. She was involved in The Second City for 50 of its 51 year history and was instrumental in so many artists' lives - including this one. She was key in the success and survival of my high school alma mater - The Chicago Academy for the Arts. Her presence, humor and guiding hand will be missed by all in the improvisation community. In my humble opinion, Heaven just got a little bit funnier.

Show your support for Joyce and her family by donating to The Chicago Academy for the Arts, as was her wish. You could even attend a show and demonstrate that even though life is sad, it does go on and The Second City could need a little boost right now. She will definitely be missed.

Visit The Second City to learn more about her legacy and the shows currently in production.

The following is a statement released by The Second City today:

It is with great sadness that we learned of Joyce Sloane's passing last night. Joyce Sloane has been associated with The Second City for 50 of its 51 years. She served as Associate Producer, Executive Producer and most currently, Producer Emeritus. Along with founder Bernard Sahlins, she produced Second City shows in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York and abroad. In addition, Ms. Sloane founded The Second City Touring Companies and The Second City e.t.c. and co-founded The Second City in Toronto.

"Joyce Sloane's impact on the Chicago theatre community cannot be measured. She nurtured thousands of young performers – she encouraged them, fed them, even housed them when needed. She was the mother of The Second City and she cannot be replaced. The loss is monumental but Joyce Sloane's legacy carries on forever in the work of the artists of whom she was so proud," states Andrew Alexander, Executive Producer of The Second City

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 8th at 11:00am at Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 North Broadway. At 12:00pm, Second City will host a luncheon and open house followed by a memorial service at 1:30pm.

The family has requested that contributions in Joyce's memory be sent to:

Chicago Academy for the Arts
1010 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 606420-5414


Victory Gardens Theater

Instrumental in Chicago's now legendary off-loop theatre movement, Ms. Sloane was a founding member of the Victory Gardens Theater and continued to serve on their board. She also served on many theatre boards and nurtured countless other theatre groups including Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre and Northlight. She was selected by Gaylord Donnelly to award arts grants for the Donnelly foundation – a role she served for over 20 years, giving most of the small theatres the first grant they received and thereby establishing their credibility in the community.

She was an original member of the Joseph Jefferson Committee and one of the founders of The League of Chicago Theatres. In addition to her work at Second City, she produced 2 seasons of Summer Stock in Toronto and Winnipeg, several summer tours and was Associate Producer of the 1971 Tony-award winning Broadway play "Borstal Boy". She is a founding member of the AIDS foundation of Chicago and is on the executive committee of Friends Against AIDS which is affiliated with the University of Chicago Children's Hospital. She is also a founder of the Chicago Academy for the Arts.

Ms. Sloane received numerous awards including a Special Joseph Jefferson Award in 1979, which states "For laboring in the vineyard with authority; for dedicated service as a counselor to all; for commitment as a working board member of several theatre companies; for professionalism as Associate Producer of The Second City; as Earth Mother to a host of Chicago actors." In addition, she received the Chicago Film Critics commitment to Chicago Award, The League of Chicago Theatre's Connie Callahan Award for commitment to Chicago theatre, a Special Award from Women in Film, The Mercedes-Benz Mentoring Award, The Chicago Drama League Crystal Award, The Illinois Arts Alliance Sydney R. Yates Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy in the Arts, The Spirit of Love Award from Little City, The Sinai Health Service Award, The Sinai Torch of Life Award, The Schwab Rehabilitation Center Special Award for Producing Theatre for People with Disabilities, The YWCA Leadership in the Arts Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kilkenny Comedy Festival in Ireland.


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