Chicago, It’s Long Overdue

For someone who has devoted much of her life to improvisation for the last 10 years, it is a low down shame that I have not ever been to Chicago, the improv headquarters of the USA. But all of that is about to change.

I just booked my Christmas plans and I’m heading to the Midwest for some good old fashioned freezing my butt off! First I’ll be heading to Madison, Wisconsin to spend time with my boyfriend’s family. I’ve also booked a workshop through my fabulous Madisonian improviser-friend Jodi Cohen, who I met years ago at the Paul Sills Summer Intensive in Door County, WI:

Without solid scene starts, your improv will go nowhere. Learn the eight basic ways to start a bulletproof scene.

Led by Austin’s own Shana Merlin.

Monday, December 26, 2005
Madison Senior Center
330 W Mifflin Street
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Cost: $35. Sign up by December 21, 2005. 513-9737.
Prerequisite: Improv fundamentals.

Then I’ll be heading to Chicago Dec 27 – Jan 1. I plan on taking in a ton of improv and hope to see a little bit of the city in between. Jeremy Lamb, my Austin/Chicago improviser-friend, recommended the Improv Olympic shows Baby Wants Candy (improvised musicals) and Whirled News Tonight (a political themed improv show, which is being produced in Austin this spring, which I will be in). Let me know if you have any improv (and non-improv) suggestions of things to do/see in Chicago.

About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.
Replies: 2


  1. Bob McNichol said:

    Hey Shana! — have a great trip up to Chicago. The shows Jeremy recommended are great. I’d also recommend some of the regular Harold shows that go on downstairs at IO. Wednesday (the 28th) has a great lineup, plus the show following it is a pretty amazing two-person show called TJ & Dave. I highly recommend that show. In terms of non-improv, find a local pub and stay warm!

    (ps – great Get Up show the other night!)

  2. Dan Judy said:

    Uno’s downtown has pretty much the greatest pizza on Earth — highly recommended, although be prepared for a wait. Also, wear two coats!!

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