Second City Works: Keynote and Workshops

  • Second City Works, the professional services arm of the world-renowned Second City comedy theater (think Tina Fey, Jordan Peele, Steve Carell, and Keegan-Michael Key) was at IUP on April 9 and 10,2019,  for a keynote presentation and workshops designed to address the issues of diversity and inclusion.

    The keynote presentation was on April 9 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex’s Toretti Auditorium. Three-hour interactive workshops were held April 9 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and April 10 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., both in the great room of the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement (Elkin Hall).  All programs were free and open to the community.

    “This program is a very unique approach to the topics of diversity and inclusion,” Stephanie Taylor-Davis, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and chair of the Second City Works planning committee, said. 

    “It was interactive and very real, and based on issues that IUP faculty, staff and students have identified as being important to the university community. You won’t see this program anywhere else—it was developed especially for IUP, and the performers who came are top-tier comedic talent whom have years of experience helping audiences to be inspired and entertained.”

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    Outcomes

    Keynote: Diversity and Inclusion: Leading the Change by Being Others Focused

    Gain a concrete understanding of actions you can take to create a more inclusive community

    Listen and respond more empathetically (especially when you might not agree with the other person)

    Use an improv approach to be nimble, flexible and adaptable when you aren't sure how to respond (or when your emotions start to take over)

    Gain tactics for stepping into difficult conversations around inclusion and for helping others to do so, too

    Understand and communicate the difference between Intent and Impact


    Workshops: Diversity and Inclusion: Becoming Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

    Build a common language around inclusion

    Practice listening and responding with more empathy, especially when you might not agree with the other view

    Be more aware of what factors can contribute to a culture of either exclusion or inclusion


    Performers:

    Sarah Ashley is an improviser, writer, actor and teacher based in Chicago. She earned a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Michigan and a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction Writing from The University of Chicago. Sarah performs improv with Super Human (The Annoyance Theater), Horsefly (CIC Theater) and Macbeth (iO). Her comedy writing is online at Reductress.com and PureWow.com. 

    Jason Ball is an actor and director known for his engaging and dynamic presentation style.

    His work for Second City Works includes keynote presentations, diversity and inclusion, innovation, communication skills, collaboration and presentation skills. He started at the Second City as an instructor in the Training Center while also working as a professional actor at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Lookingglass Theater, and the Congo Square Theater among others. His corporate experience includes working as a Learning and Organizational Development specialist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and for a consulting firm which specialized in transforming Software as a Service companies. Professional certifications include Insights Discovery, Blanchard’s Situational Leadership II and Partners in Leadership Cultural Transition Process. Jason is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild/AFTRA and the Association for Talent Development.

    Calvin Evans is a standup-actor-writer from Chicago. His recent television credits include the new Fox series APB, NBC’s Chicago PD, lFC’s Sherman’s Showcase, Showtime’s Shameless and Comedy Central's Southside. He has also performed his standup on the Kevin Hart Comedy Central series Hart of the City, LOL @ JFL, TruTV Laff Mobb Laff Tracks and MTV’s Acting Out. He was the winner of the WGN Chicago’s "Next Big Comic Contest" and was a three-time featured

    performer at NBC’s Breakout Comedy Festival. He was also a 2017 New Face at the Just For Laughs Montreal Festival. In 2018 he was a a finalist in the NBC Stand up for Diversity completion.  Evans performs standup across the country and is a regular performer at several of Chicago’s top comedy clubs including The Laugh Factory, Up Comedy Club, and Zanies. He is a graduate of the Second City Chicago Conservatory and is a Bob Curry Fellowship recipient.

    Sayjal Joshi is an actress, improviser, comedian, teacher, musician, and writer. Over the

    past 15 years she has performed with theaters all over the world including The

    Kennedy Center, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Second City, e.t.c. and Second City

    Theatricals, Woolly Mammoth, iO Chicago, Laugh Out Loud, Istanbul Impro, The

    Goodman, and critically acclaimed Asian-American sketch ensemble, Stir-Friday Night!

    She has written comedy and facilitated workshops for a number of national companies.

    Andrew Knox is originally from Shelburne, Vermont. An ensemble member in the e.t.c.’s 41st and 42nd revues, Fantastic Great Super Nation Numero Uno and Gaslight District, he is also a Second City Touring Company alum and a member of the Improvised Shakespeare Company. 

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    Co-Sponsored by:

    The Office of the President, The Office of the Provost, The Center for Teaching Excellence, Women’s and Gender Studies, The IUP Free Speech Project, and Cook Honors College


    Planning Team:

    Stephanie Taylor-Davis, Center for Teaching Excellence & Dept. of Food and Nutrition

    Lynn Botelho, Women's and Gender Studies & Dept. of History

    Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, Dept. of Theater, Dance, & Performance

    Michelle Fryling, Division of Marketing & Communications

    David Chambers, Free Speech Project & Dept. of Political Science

    Pao Ying Hsiao, Dept. Food & Nutrition


    Assistance by:

    Linda Hotchkiss, Procurement Services

    John Kilmarx, Division of Academic Affairs

    Samantha Muir, Disability Access & Advising

    Angela Precipe, Student

    Kylie Smith, Student

    Andrew Thompson, Kolvalchick Convention and Athletic Complex