For second time ever, The Second City to perform show with all-AAPI cast


The Second City bringing second show with all-Asian cast to the stage

The Second City bringing second show with all-Asian cast to the stage


CHICAGO (CBS) — When a new show hits the stage at The Second City this month – Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month – it will feature an all-AAPI cast and crew.

It’s the second year the famed improv and sketch comedy company has put on such a show as part of the Victor Wong Fellows program.

The name’s not on the marquee yet, but inside the doors of The Second City, cast and crew of an upcoming show have been working through their staging of “Youth in Asia (Are You Proud of Me Yet?),” a production they think is sure to kill.

Director Evan Mills said it’s a silly show balancing goofy bits with personal histories and heart.

“I jumped at the chance to be a part of it, because I was like, ‘This is so important.’ We rarely see ourselves on stages,” he said.

The production is part of the Victor Wong Fellows program, named after The Second City’s first Asian American performer, to train and mentor up-and-coming AAPI talent.

When Mills started at The Second City as a host in 2012, he said there was only one Asian performer on stage.

For the past three months, a cast of 10 AAPI comedians has been working on the new program.

Johanna Medrano contributed with a piece about her own experience, as the eldest daughter trying to live up to her parents’ ambitious goals for her future.

“The immense pressure is on us to be their wildest dreams come true, and being an actor/comedian was not it,” she said.

Medrano said acting has opened her to new opportunities.

“When I started at Second City, I started in the writing program, because I did not see myself on stage. I was very shy. I was a wallflower. I was more of a writer than an actor,” she said.

Medrano has found her time in the spotlight, hoping this show brings more AAPI representation to the stage, and that in the silliness you find a story that anyone can relate to.

“I think when the lights go down … I’m probably gonna cry, but just out of joy of just seeing AAPI members on stage all together doing what they love to do. So I’m really excited for that,” Mills said.

The Youth in Asia program plays every Tuesday in May at UP Comedy Club at The Second City.

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