The Chicago Improv Festival would start on a somber note as the Chicago improv community learned that Paul Sills, a founding member and original director of Second City as well as its predecessor Compass Players (where he worked with Nichols and May), had died earlier today. Sills was 80. A tribute is up on The Second City page, where they write: "The Second City extends its condolences to Carol Sills and the Sills’
family. Paul will never be forgotten and the inspiration of his work
will certainly live on forever." He also co-founded the New Actors Workshop in 1987 with Mike Nichols and George Morrison.
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The AP obituary notes that Sills created the "Story Theatre" format in the late 1960s that emphasized characters as their own narrators, as storytellers. His own site, Paul Sills’ Wisconsin Theater Game Center, continued offering one-week improv intensives every summer. And his mother, Viola Spolin, literally wrote the book on improvisation.