Kadie Dennison, a junior theatre and communication studies double major at Buena Vista University, has been selected for the Second City comedy studies program in Chicago for the spring 2013 semester.
The junior from Lisbon will be the third BVU student to participate in the competitive program over the last several years, following in the footsteps of Phil McLean, Class of 2007, and Noel Hoffman, Class of 2011. The program, which focuses on improvisational-based sketch comedy, is offered through Columbia College in Chicago and the Second City Training Center.
Second City has been the training ground for dozens of well-known comedians, such as Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, and many veterans of Saturday Night Live including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Dan Akroyd, Chris Farley, John Belushi and Gildna Radner.
"It was a spur of the moment application," says Kadie. "I had always wanted to do the program but never thought I would apply or be accepted. With a little push from my peers and my theatre professor, Dr. Bethany Larson, I took the chance."
"I had to submit a resume, letter of recommendation, transcripts, headshot photo, and extensive essays about my comedic skills in regards to writing and performance," she notes. "It was like a college application process."
Kadie, who is Larson's academic assistant, developed her strong interest in improvisational comedy through participation in BVU's "Sawtooth Players," a student improv troupe she joined as a freshman. Her conversations with both Hoffman and McLean convinced Kadie the program would be an invaluable experience. "They both said it was the time of their lives and they wish they could go back and do it all over again."
In the comedy studies program, Kadie wants to learn as much as possible about the art of writing sketch comedy and enhance her development as a comedic performer. When she returns to campus, she plans to share what she learns with other students.
"I love to laugh and make people laugh," she says. "I also like the creativity that comes from collaborating and developing something with others. Everyone's ideas are incorporated into a mold that surprisingly makes hilarious sense. With improv I can say the first thing off the top of my head and just go with it. It's challenging, but so much fun."
Kadie has had roles in several BVU main stage theatre productions over the last two years and served as assistant director and stage manager last spring for Doubt: A Parable. Last summer, she was co-director with another BVU student, Hannah Anderson, for a children's theatre camp for the Cherokee Community Theatre.