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Paul Sills

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Paul Sills
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{{short description|American director and instructor}}







factoids
| birth_place = Chicago, Illinois, US2008211df=y|}}| death_place = Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, US| nationality = American| alma_mater = University of Chicago| residence = Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin,Chicago, Illinois| boards = The Second City,Founded or co-founded:Playwrights Theater Club, Compass Players, The Second City, Game Theater, Story Theater, Sills & Co.,Paul Sills' Wisconsin Theater Game Center,The Parents School| influenced =| influences = | notable_works = | known_for = Founding Director of The Second City; creator of Story Theater| occupation = Director, teacher| years_active = Barbara Harris (actress)>Barbara Harris (1955 – 1958; divorced), Carol Bleackley Sills (? – 2008; his death)| children = 1 son,4 daughters| parents = Viola Spolin and Wilmer Silverberg| signature = | awards = Theater Hall of Fame| website = paulsills.com| footnotes = }} Paul Silverberg (November 18, 1927 – June 2, 2008), better known as Paul Sills, was an American director and improvisation teacher, and the original director of Chicago's The Second City.

Life and career

Sills was born Paul Silverberg in Chicago, Illinois, to a family who believed in the teachings of modern-day Judaism. His mother was teacher and writer Viola Spolin, who authored the first book on improvisation techniques, Improvisation for the Theater.BOOK, Improvisation for the Theater Third Edition, Viola Spolin, 1999, 0-8101-4008-X, Spolin in turn was the student of play therapy theorist Neva Boyd.Drama as therapy: theatre as living By Phil JonesIn 1948, Sills enrolled in the University of Chicago, where he established himself as a director, co-founding Playwright's Theater Club. There, with fellow actors Edward Asner, Byrne Piven and Zohra Lampert,Coleman, Janet, The Compass. Knopf 1990, pg 16: "Until Paul Sills 'thrust' her onstage...Zohra Lampert ('52) thought, 'I might want to become...a librarian. Not an actor.'" they blended Spolin's improvisational techniques with established theater training.In 1955, Sills and David Shepherd founded the Compass Players, the first improvisational theater in the United States, where he directed Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May.BOOK,weblink The Compass: The Improvisational Theatre that Revolutionized American Comedy, Janet, Coleman, 1 November 1991, University of Chicago Press, Google Books, 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.Coleman, Janet, The Compass, Knopf 1990, pg 255 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. {{Citation needed|date=May 2010}}

Career

Sills left Second City in 1965 to form the Game Theater, where he coached improvisational techniques of his mother, Viola Spolin, in performance, and audience participation was encouraged. His mother and other community friends were partners. The Parents School was co-founded there, with wife Carol Bleackley Sillweblink and others, with a children's curriculum based on group art forms and play. It operated for almost two decades. At the Game Theater, he also discovered a new form he called Story Theater, which debuted at 1848 N. Wells Street, during the summer of 1968. That building was the original location of the Second City, which had already moved to its new and current location at 1616 N. Wells St. After Sills finished doing Story Theater there, it was torn down.WEB,weblink 1967 - The Second City, secondcity.com, Story Theatre went on to play at Yale University, in Los Angeles and on Broadway,WEB,weblink Paul Sills' Story Theatre, www.ibdb.com, remaining the form Sills explored for the rest of his life. His book, Paul Sills' Story Theater: Four ShowsBOOK, Story Theater: Four Shows Adapted for the Stage by Paul Sills, Sills, Paul, Applause, 2000, 1557833982, New York, N.Y., .Sills's first two wives were Dorothea Horton and Barbara Harris.{{cn|date=October 2017}}In 2011, he was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.WEB,weblink Playbill.com, 2012-09-04,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140201194057weblink">weblink 2014-02-01, yes,

Death

Paul Sills died on June 2, 2008 at the age of 80, at his home in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, of complications from pneumonia.

References

{{reflist}}

External links

{{DramaDesk Director}}{{Authority control}}

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