The Host

Ali Reza Farahnakian (SAG, AEA, WGA, AFTRA) studied extensively with Charna Halpern and Del Close in the 1990s at ImprovOlympic (IO). Where he was given the sword of "Yes,and...!" by Del Close personally.  He was also a founding member of the UCB with whom he helped to create the critically acclaimed show Virtual Reality. At The Second City in Chicago he was part of the Jeff-nominated show The Revelation Will Not Be Televised (dir. Jeff Richmond) for which he also received a Jeff nomination for Best Actor in a Revue. His one-man show Word of Mouth was an official selection to the US Comedy Arts Festival 2001 in Aspen. He was a writer on Saturday Night Live during its 25th anniversary season and received a Writers Guild Award nomination. He has worked on The Steppenwolf Mainstage in Chicago and BAM in Brooklyn in Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul directed by Frank Galati. Television credits include all the Law and Order‘s, All My Children, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, 30 Rock (3x), Louie, Delocated, Inside Amy Shumer, Unbrekable Kimmy Schmidt. He has been in numerous commercials, voice overs, films, 3 of which have gone to Sundance and one went to Cannes. In 2002 he founded The Peoples Improv Theater (aka The PIT).He lives in NYC with his wife and two daughters, who all teach him a great deal in their own way. He  teaches in NYC where he over sees The PIT, The PIT LOFT, Simple Studios, and Pioneers.  Spread the Word!

2016 Sponsors

Worldwide Orphans (WWO) and Chicago Dance Institute (CDI) have a shared vision for providing high quality arts education programs and empowerment initiatives to the most vulnerable children. The WWO - CDI fundraiser at The Second City celebrates the unique intersection of the arts, children and international development at a quintessential Chicago performing arts venue. Both organizations share a core commitment to the arts and community participation, providing a unique opportunity for a corporate sponsor to be a leader in corporate arts philanthropy.