Paul Sills
American theatre director
Paul Sills
Paul Sills was a director and improvisation teacher, and the original director of Chicago's The Second City.
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Paul Sills's personal information overview.
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<i>Breaking Bad</i>'s Junkyard Dog: Actor Larry Hankin
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Actor Larry Hankin Breaking Bad has had countless supporting actors fill the ranks of DEA agents, cartel psychopaths, and tweakers in its five seasons of crank-infused high opera. But only Larry Hankin, who played Old Joe, will forever be etched into memory as the junkyard proprietor whose chutzpah bested Hank Schrader and saved Walt and Jesse's asses -- not once but twice. Of course, Hankin has made a career of leaving a lasting impression on audiences, and anyone lucky enough to have crossed his path. Tall, lanky, hip, delightfully buffoonish at times, yet serious, Hankin is the quintessential "that guy," instantly recognizable as Mr. Heckles on Friends or 'the Other Kramer,' who stole the raisins, on the pilot episode of Seinfeld. But Hankin's off-screen history and pedigree alone should place him on a registry for national tr ...
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Huffington Post article
Roger Wright: A Bernie Sahlins Tribute Scene
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Bernie Sahlins put two wooden chairs on a stage inside what used to be a laundromat on North Wells Street in Chicago, turned on a spotlight, and along with partners Paul Sills and Howard Alk, made what happened next a force in American cultural history. Sahlins, Sills and Alk were the founders of "The Second City." The improvisational comedy troupe, theater, and training ground for generations of superstars and perhaps most important, a way of thinking about making the world laugh. Bernie Sahlins died Sunday at home in Chicago. He was 90 years old. And if there was a flicker of darkness on every single stage across the world, the scope of the tribute would be justified. If you were to make a list of comedic superstars influenced by Sahlins, you'd get bored half way through because the list is virtually endless. You'd quit and start doing something else. Perhaps you'd start doing old Saturday Night Live bits. Recite a line from a Mike Nichols movie, recall Ed Asner telli ...
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Huffington Post article
LaughSpin: How Improv Comedy Prepared Me For Motherhood
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
Written by Katie Anderson for LaughSpin.com Seriously, I can't bitch. I've gotten everything I asked for. As a kid, I had only one prayer: "Jesus Christ (for, that was my God) please make my life not so boring." Action was what I expected out of suburban Ohio and I got it. In Ohio, yes even in Ohio, freaks abide, my friends, freaks do abide. In the early '90s I spent most of my free time in bars and comedy clubs performing improv. I worked with MC2, the home team of the more famous and yet still mostly unknown comedy troupe of Midwest Comedy, Tool and Die (ask Drew Carey, he knew them). Those days revolved around comp tickets to shows, radio spots and hosting karaoke in exchange for free beer. Back then I shuddered at the thought of getting saddled with anything normative like marriage or "safe" neighborhoods or driving a fully functioning car. I had intended to have the type of life that involved lots of last-minute dinner reservations and waxing appointments. I ende ...
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Huffington Post article
From Tinseltown to children's theatre and Baboró - Galway Advertiser
Google News - over 5 years
“Viola Spolin&#39;s theatre games were used to teach children theatre skills and her son, Paul Sills, took those games and founded Second City which became the basis of Saturday Night Live. Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner had all been in Second
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Google News article
Chicago's famed Second City headed to Abingdon - Kingsport Times News
Google News - over 5 years
Founded by Spolin&#39;s son, Paul Sills, along with Howard Alk and Bernie Sahlins, The Second City was experimental and unconventional in its approach to both theatre and comedy. At a time when mother-in-law jokes were more the fashion, The Second City
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Google News article
Tweets take their (expletive) place among city's rich literary tradition - Chicago Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
David Shepherd, Paul Sills, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Del Close and Charna Halpern, Studs Terkel and Lenny Bruce: Meet Dan Sinker. He&#39;s one of yours, and one of ours. Bill Savage is a Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at
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Google News article
Jeffrey Sweet show is coming to Chicago - Chicago Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
It tells the tale of Sweet and the likes of such famous Chicagoans as Paul Sills and Sheldon Patinkin. And Del Close. After some encore performances in New York, &quot;You Only Shoot&quot; will play for one night at the iO Theater in Chicago on Sept. 22
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Google News article
Sweet show headed to Chicago - Chicago Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
... improv history--has had a success at the New York Fringe Festival with his one-man show, &quot;You Only Shoot the Ones You Love,&quot; which he describes as the story of his dealings with such Chicago theater titans as Del Close, Sheldon Patinkin and Paul Sills
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Google News article
Spolin Doğaçlama Oyunculuk Tekniği Atölye Çalışması - Tiyatro Dünyası
Google News - over 5 years
Viola Spolin ve oğlu Paul Sills tarafından yaratılan Spolin Doğaçlaması, çığır açıcı etkisiyle Amerikan sinemasının ve tiyatrosunun yüzünü değiştirecek yönetmen ve oyuncular yetiştirdi. Oscarlı yönetmen Mike Nichols, Spolin Doğaçlaması ile başladığı
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Google News article
Voice-overs interrupt life story - Edmonton Journal
Google News - over 5 years
The bad part is the constant voiceover interruption by his deceased mentor Paul Sills, the co-founder of Chicago&#39;s Second City improv troupe in the 1950s and son of Viola Spolin, author of the first book on improvisation techniques
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Google News article
Northlight Theatre announces casting for Snapshots and Season's Greetings - JohnJohnSaidIt.com
Google News - over 5 years
He appeared in several mainstage revues at The second City; in Paul Sills&#39; Sills and Company at Actors Playhouse (New York); and co-wrote, directed, and performed in the musical Wild Men! in Chicago and new York. Matt Schwader (Neville) last appeared
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Google News article
THE BAY CITIZEN; With Long Roots in the Bay Area, Improv Comedy Is Thriving
NYTimes - over 6 years
If anyone should know about the local improv scene, it is Jamie Wright, the co-producer of the San Francisco Improv Festival and a member of the Crisis Hopkins improv and sketch-comedy group. Yet until recently, Mr. Wright had barely heard of The Committee, arguably the most important improvisational group to ever come out of the Bay Area. ''I knew
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NYTimes article
A Los Angeles Theater Is Renovated, Relieving Headache-Inducing Quirks
NYTimes - over 8 years
Two months ago, Michael Ritchie, who was almost finished shepherding the renovation of the Mark Taper Forum here, woke in the middle of the night in a panic. ''In my waking up or in my dreaming I believed we had forgotten to design and put in bathrooms backstage,'' Mr. Ritchie recalled. He drove downtown from his house in the Los Feliz
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NYTimes article
Paul Sills, 80, Guru of the Improv Stage
NYTimes - over 8 years
Paul Sills, a founder of the Second City theater company and the godfather of modern improvisational sketch comedy, died on Monday in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. He was 80. The cause was complications of pneumonia, said his wife, Carol Sills. As a founder and resident director of a series of small theater companies that began in bars, former bakeries and
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NYTimes article
Arnold Weinstein, 78, a Poet And Collaborator on Operas
NYTimes - over 11 years
Arnold Weinstein, the poet, playwright and librettist who wrote works performed on and off Broadway, taught playwriting at Yale and Columbia, and collaborated with composers from William Bolcom to Henry Threadgill to Philip Glass, died Sunday at Cabrini Hospice in Manhattan. He was 78. The cause was liver cancer, said his niece, Lisa Hamm. A
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NYTimes article
ARTS IN AMERICA; Industrial-Strength Comedy
NYTimes - about 17 years
''I feel like I was born here,'' Alan Arkin said. That would have been in 1960, when Mr. Arkin, the comic actor and director, was 28 and starving for work (and to hear him tell it, food) in New York. Out of desperation and with a sense of descent into oblivion, he accepted an invitation to move to Chicago and join a fledgling comedy troupe called
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NYTimes article
NARRATIVE THEATER; In the Forefront
NYTimes - almost 18 years
To the Editor: In his article [''Narrating the Action While Taking Part in It,'' May 2] Jeffery Eric Jenkins mentions Paul Sills but does not elaborate on how much impact Mr. Sills's Story Theater has had on the narrative stage. With the exceptions of Thornton Wilder, Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski and Robert Wilson, Mr. Sills has been at the
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Paul Sills
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2008
    Age 80
    Paul Sills died on June 1, 2008 at the age of 80, at his home in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, of complications from pneumonia.
    More Details Hide Details He is survived by his third wife Carol, a son, four daughters, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
  • FORTIES
  • 1968
    Age 40
    At the Game Theater, he also discovered a new form, which he called Story Theater, which debuted at 1848 N. Wells Street during the summer of 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Story Theatre went on to play at Yale University, in Los Angeles and on Broadway, remaining the form Sills explored for the rest of his life. His book, Paul Sills' Story Theater: Four Shows, was published by Applause Books. Sills launched a further excursion into coaching Spolin theater games for performance, called Sills & Co. in the 1980s when he gathered many early Second City players to appear in Los Angeles and New York. He started the New Actors Workshop, an acting school in midtown Manhattan with Mike Nichols and George Morrison where he led guest workshops, lectures, and directed once a year. He also founded the Wisconsin Theater Game Center with his wife Carol at his rural home in Baileys Harbor. For many years he and Carol produced annual original productions in Door County, working with a local troupe. Summer classes in Spolin theater games and Story Theatre continue to be taught there by his widow and two of their daughters, Aretha Sills and Neva Sills.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1965
    Age 37
    Sills left Second City in 1965 to form the Game Theater, where he coached his mother's improvisational techniques in performance and audience participation was encouraged.
    More Details Hide Details His mother and other community friends were partners. The Parents School was co-founded there, with wife Carol and others, with a children's curriculum based on group art forms and play. It operated for almost two decades.
  • 1959
    Age 31
    In 1959, Sills, along with partners Howard Alk and Bernie Sahlins, opened a theatre called The Second City where revues developed improvisationally were presented under Sills's direction.
    More Details Hide Details With early cast members Alan Arkin, Barbara Harris, Severn Darden, Mina Kolb and Paul Sand, success led to New York (a brief run on Broadway and a long one off-Broadway), London and world recognition.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1955
    Age 27
    In 1955, Sills and David Shepherd founded Compass Players, the first improvisational theater in the US, where he directed Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1948
    Age 20
    In 1948, Sills enrolled in the University of Chicago, where he established himself as a director, co-founding Playwright's Theater Club.
    More Details Hide Details There, with fellow actors Edward Asner, Byrne Piven and Zohra Lampert, they blended Spolin technique with established theater training.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1927
    Born
    Sills was born Paul Silverberg on November 18, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, his mother was teacher and writer Viola Spolin, who authored the first book on improvisation techniques, Improvisation for the Theater.
    More Details Hide Details Spolin in turn was the student of play therapy theorist Neva Boyd.
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