About Keith Ecker

Keith Ecker is an entrepreneurial wordsmith who infuses the power of storytelling into everything he does. And he does a lot. A humorist, a passionate teacher and a noted member of Chicago's performance literary scene, Keith keeps himself pretty busy. Explore the site to see what he's been up to lately.

More About Keith

The Writer / The Educator / The Performer

Contact Info


“There is nothing that compares to interacting with an audience in a real space in real time. You feed off their energy just as much as they feed off of yours, creating something much larger than the sum of its parts.”

For years, Keith stayed out of the limelight, working behind the scenes as a writer. But a strong desire to perform led him to the Second City Training Center where he began his education in improvisation and performance. Within six months, he was producing and performing in a sold out five-week run at the institution’s Donny Skybox stage. Soon, he was performing improv comedy across Chicago, while taking classes at the legendary iO Chicago and Annoyance Theaters.

During this time, Keith began combining his passion for comedic performance with writing to embark on a stint in Chicago’s stand-up comedy scene. He performed in a number of showcases in Chicago and beyond. He then went to work on producing, writing and acting in his debut sketch comedy show with The Alliance, a sketch group he co-founded in 2007. Keith also produced several comedic shorts and wrote and starred in a web series titled “Word of the Gay.”

In 2009, Keith embarked on his most ambitious project to date. Along with his co-producer Alyson Lyon, he created Essay Fiesta, a monthly showcase of true stories that brings together artists from across multiple genres. The show played a pivotal role in the birth of Chicago’s flourishing “live lit” scene. In 2012, Keith handed off producing duties of Essay Fiesta and launched Guts & Glory: Live Lit for the Lionhearted, a new series that strikes at the heart of the human condition through story.

Keith regularly performs throughout Chicago and has been featured at such venues as the Printers Row Lit Fest, The Chicago Writers Conference, Write Club, Story Club, The Paper Machete, 2nd Story, The Encyclopedia Show, This Much Is True, Mortified, Adult Education, Words That Kill, The Sunday Night Sex Show, Solo in the Second City, That’s All She Wrote, The Funny Story Show, 7 Sins, West Side School for the Desperate, Entertaining Julia, P. Fanatics and The Orange Alert Reading Series, among others.

Upcoming Events

Selected Media

General Admission Podcast

Keith and Sam talk about Guts & Glory, Live Lit and the storytelling “community.” Read… Read More

Chicago Zine Fest

Keith teams up with bestest pal Emily Alden Foster for a reading from her amazing… Read More

All Write Already

The hosts of All Write Already interview Keith about storytelling, public relations and Ian Belknap… Read More

Broad Shoulders Podcast: On The Go

Guest stars Shannon Cason (Essay Fiesta), Jennifer Ann Coffeen (Story Club), and Mar Curran (Word… Read More