This year’s Chicago Improv Festival is dedicated to Jason Chin and Sheldon Patinkin, as well as honoring the 60th anniversary of The Compass:
Besides his many accomplishments in improvisation comedy and theater as a teacher, director, performer, artistic director, and administrator, mainly at iO Chicago, but also around the world, Jason also was a Chicago Improv Festival Curator, a Chicago Improv Festival improviser, and a judge for Chicago Improv Productions’ College Improv Tournament. Besides dedicating this year’s CIF to Jason, CIF is also having a Jason Chin Tribute Night in which three of his most well known improv shows he created will be showcased; he’ll also be award a posthumous Chicago Improv Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.
100% of the proceeds for CIF’s Jason Chin Tribute night will go toward the Jason R. Chin Scholarship.
For many people, Sheldon was the nexus point of Chicago theater and Chicago improv/comedy as well as an ambassador, a force, and a giant in both communities. Sheldon was a former teacher, director, writer, stage manager, actor, and administrator with The Playwrights Theater Club, The Second City, SCTV, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Columbia College Chicago and The Gift Theatre. He also was the author of the book, “The Second City: Backstage at the World’s Greatest Comedy Theater”. He also was a former Chicago Improv Festival Advisory Board Member and a recipient of the Chicago Improv Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as having participated in several CIF special events.
On July 5, 1955 The Compass, the world’s first ever modern improvisational theatre company, debuted in a bar near the University of Chicago where they ran for 18 months and theatre in Chicago has never been the same. The Compass are the pioneers of this art form and CIF is proud to honor them on their 60th anniversary. CIF 2015 is also paying tribute to The Compass with special performance programming, a contest, and a tip of the cap to The Compass through the image and the tagline on this year’s CIF poster. Because of their beginnings in 1955, improv really has grown in every direction!