Live, from Charlottesville

Tina Fey

Stephanie Gross

"Saturday Night Live" writer Tina Fey (center) returned to her alma mater last week. With members of the Second City improvisational comedy troupe, she conducted workshops with U.Va. students. Here, she watches graduate student Jason Kehler and undergraduate Sarah Drew work through an improv game. Fey (CLAS '92) made her way to New York via Chicago, where she worked as a cast member of Second City, where the likes of Dan Aykroyd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mike Myers launched their careers. Then Fey landed a writing job at SNL and became its head writer two years later -- the first female to hold the post in the show's 25-year history. This summer, producer Lorne Michaels tapped Fey to fill SNL's Weekend Update anchor chair -- the seat that has boosted the careers of Chevy Chase and Dennis Miller. "Tina's insight regarding the art of improv, as well as talking about her experiences since graduating from U.Va., were inspiring for many of our students contemplating a similar path," said Robert Chapel, drama department chair." All of the improvisation workshops were full. I was extremely proud of [the students] on stage Friday night in collaboration with those from Second City. Both Culbreth Theatre performances were sold out and were received with great enthusiasm."