Chicago’s Second City All Stars improvise at Emens

A pianist stroked the black and white keys of her piano as Chelsea Devantez and Ariel Dumas belted a song about putting weird items in Devantez’s body. An iPhone 3 was only one of many items sung about on the Emens Auditorium stage as the improv artists made the audience burst in laughter. 


Improv group, The Second City All-Stars, came to Emens Auditorium to show off their comedic talent and wit. Whether it was screaming the “F” word on stage or improvising random shoutouts from the audience, The Second City All-Stars performed several different improvisational games throughout show.


Although Devantez has been improvising for six years, she said there are still some difficulties while performing live. 


“The hardest thing is not breaking because everything else is so funny,” Devantez said. “It’s also about being free while learning the structure of how to improvise.”


All-Stars Devantez, Dumas, Neal Dandade, Alex DiGiacinto, Eddie Mujica and Casey Whitaker sprinted onstage sporting all-black while bringing their humor.


The Second City All-Stars not only made sure the students were laughing but participating as well. Choosing students from the audience, the All-Stars played multiple improv games that included moving each other’s body parts, charades and a scene that takes place in the restaurant, Panda Express. 


Devantez shared many good things about the audience at Ball State. 


“You guys were an exceptionally good audience,” Devantez said. “We don’t always get interesting, fun suggestions and energy but you guys were wonderful to perform for.”


For Mujica, his favorite improv game is “moving bodies.” During this game, the improvisers choose two members from the audience. The audience members can move any body part of the improvisers as they carry on a conversation. 


During this “moving bodies” improv game, Mujica and Dandade acted like they were scrapbooking.


“I love seeing who gets selected and it’s just fun to see where people’s imaginations go while they’re posing us,” Mujica said. “Neal and I usually end-up hugging or kissing each other.”

This was not The All-Stars first rodeo. The group has traveled together before making the performances a little easier.


For Mujica, traveling together helps make their live performances a little more comfortable. 


“We all travel together and we are all comfortable with each other and we have a lot of fun,” Mujica said. “So I never feel pressured. I know we are going on stage and having a good time.”


For Dumas, there isn’t a hard part about being onstage because her friends are right there with her. 


“I don’t think there is a hardest thing, it’s just keeping focused and paying attention,” Dumas said. “When you have all of your friends onstage there is nothing to worry about.”


For longtime Second City enthusiast Lizzy Grubbs, this was her second time seeing them at Ball State.


“This was my second time seeing the show at Emens and I have enjoyed it every time,” Grubbs said. “I’m glad Ball State brings such unique acts to campus.”

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