Improv Legend Paul Sills Dies at 80

Paul Sills died on Monday at the age of 80. The son of improv revolutionary Viola Spolin, Sills co-founded the Compass Players with David Shepherd in 1955 and later the acclaimed Second City, serving as director until 1965. Sills was instrumental in the development of improvisational comedy as an artform. His work helped lay the groundwork to inspire thousands – including so many of my close personal friends that I have today. His work and subsequent training centers hold ties to comedy legends the likes of Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Alan Arkin, Stephen Colbert, Jerry Stiller and countless others…

Sills died at his home in Baileys Harbor, WI due to complications of pneumonia.

“There’s no laugh like the explosion of laughter after improvisation.” – Paul Sills


One Response to Improv Legend Paul Sills Dies at 80

  1. Betsy O'Neil says:

    I have studied Viola Spolin’s work with Paul Sills and just returned from a workshop with his daughter.
    Is there any group or individuals in the Philadelphia area doing or interested in doing theater games the Spolin way?
    Thank you, anyone, who has any information on this.

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