Lauren Ash, currently starring in “Taming of the Flu”, is one of The Second City’s great female actors who has the distinction of dropping out of theatre school after only four months. Clearly that was enough as the supremely talented Ash steals several scenes and had numerous chances to shine in this current revue.
Ash learned enough about theatre during her brief training to know that she loved improv. Auditioning at the Second City in Toronto one year after leaving college, she was hired for a touring co. and worked there for 3 years. Ash also wrote four Mainstage shows while at SC Toronto.
After that, it was time to take a little rest. Ash did some television and film work and decided to visit Chicago – America’s home for improv and the original Second City. Showing the fearlessness that she also has on stage, Ash walked right up to Kelly Leonard and said, “I want to work here.” Simple as that.
About three to four months later, Ash got what she wanted. She got a call that invited her to work at The Second City in Chicago and was given three weeks to move from Canada to Chicago.
Triple threat Ash went straight to the Mainstage, where she now performs in the second show she has written for the Chicago stage.
Ash acknowledges that she learned a lot about theatre in the short time she was at school. Basically she learned that she didn’t want to do and focuses on what she does want to do; she uses her talent and acting skills every night in each show she performs. She knows that her acting training, while brief, has allowed her to do much more than just improv in every show. Combining her acting and improv skills has allowed her to talk about what she wants to every night – she is not limited to a script written by someone else. Her favorite part of her work is that she not only gets to express herself, but it’s play – she can do and say what she likes to do. And, she adds, “I get to do it every night.”
One of Ash’s favorite aspect of this revue is that a lot of improv was used to create the material now shown 8 (or more) times a week. Working with Mick Napier, director of “Taming of the Flu”, Ash found the creative process for the show to the looser, with a lot of improv work built into creating scenes, along with several scripted scenes and songs brought in by the cast. For Ash, though, the improv in rehearsal was great; when an “idea hits you in the moment…it’s the coolest thing.”
Supremely talented Ash is skilled in an improvised scene where she plays the first lady of France and adeptly fields the audiences’ questions about healthcare in France. One of her favorite scenes, she explains that it gives her insight into the American passion on the healthcare debate.
Another strong scene, as well as an Ash favorite, is the “Senator’s Wives” song. Ash explained that this started out as a scene but it wasn’t really working, so Ash sat alone in her living room and wrote the strong with showcases her strong voice as well as her opinions on the recent sex scandals that show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The quick witted Ash works with another great talent, Andy St. Clair, in a hilarious scene that highlights the complete lack of understanding that the Christian Right has about the ability to “cure” homosexuality. This stinging satire is tightly wrapped up in a scene where the dynamic and hilarious duo introduces themselves to their new neighbors.
Ash is the ideal Second City cast member – she has a fantastic voice, quick wit and talent to spare. The whole cast works well together and the freshness of the show, with the use of props and a beautiful set, represents a real metamorphosis for The Second City stage, Ash believes. Whatever secret ingredient went in to creating this show – it definitely worked.
See the divine talent that is Ash as well as her other cast members in “Taming of the Flu” on the Mainstage at The Second City.
Above all, have fun and don’t forget to tip your waiters!
Taming of the flu is in an indefinite run. Tickets are available by selecting 'Buy Tickets' on this page or by phone at 312-337-3992.
For groups contact Anna Feneis at firstname.lastname@example.org
The show schedule and ticket prices are as follows:
Tuesday 8pm $22.00
Wednesday 8pm $22.00
Thursday 8pm $22.00
Friday 8pm and 11pm $27.00
Saturday 8pm and 11pm $27.00
Sunday 7pm $22.00