Paul Sills tribute at Second City | Bleader

Paul Sills tribute at Second City

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Second City will honor the life and legacy of its cofounder Paul Sills, Sun, 6/29, 3:30 PM, at the Second City mainstage, 1616 N. Wells.

Sills, who died June 2 at the age of 80, also cofounded the Compass Players. Considered by many to be the father of modern improv, he also invented the Story Theater form and in 1969 helped establish the Body Politic Theatre, arguably the birthplace of the professional off-Loop theater movement.

Sills was one of the two most important director-teachers in post-World War II American theater, the other being Lee Strasberg. If Sills had chosen to work in New York he might have received the popular recognition Strasberg did. But he stuck with Chicago at a time when little outside attention was paid to the grassroots theater movement taking root here.

Second City has posted a memorial page and WBEZ organized a discussion about Sills. For a different take, go to Mike Miner's reflection in the Reader's News Bites blog.

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