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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

November 28 , 2000 Contact: Bryant Payne, (312) 355-2523, bpayne2@uic.edu


The University of Illinois at Chicago's students will get a taste of professional improvisational and comedic theater during the spring 2001 semester when Bernie Sahlins, cofounder of Second City, begins teaching a new course at UIC called the Short Comic Scene.

Concentrating on the teaching of comic techniques employed by Second City, the course will cover theatrical and improvisational directing, acting, material development, production, organization and scene construction. Sahlins will teach the course for one semester and hopes to find a protégé from the class to continue training students after his departure.

An audition is required for admission to the class. Twenty students will be selected to take the course and another 20 students to audit the class.

"The class is open to all UIC graduate and undergraduate students," said Sahlins. "I want to leave something behind that people can continue to build on, therefore, I am looking for intelligent students who know what's going on in the world and have a small hint of acting ability."

Sahlins, one of the original owners and producers of Second City for its first 26 years, became, for all intents and purposes, the sole owner in 1968. He began directing Second City Chicago in 1969 while still a producer. Sahlins also produced several "Second City TV" shows in the United States, England and Canada, and served as one of the producers of the first season of "SCTV."

Sahlins is looking for UIC student actors and musicians with no previous training for this course. Known as a director who keeps the reference level of his shows' material as intellectually rich as possible, Sahlins will assist students in developing a structure for their public performance at the end of the semester.

"Nothing is more boring than defining comedy," Sahlins said. "Comedy is not a matter of life and death. It is much more important than that."

- UIC -


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