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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago, Off-Off Campus Records 1986-2008

© 2011 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. Off-Off Campus. Records

Dates:

1986-2008

Size:

5.5 linear feet (8 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Off-Off Campus is a student improvisation theater group founded at the University of Chicago in 1986. The Records include administrative files, advertising and written short scenes.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research with the exception of Box 5, which is restricted until 2045.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: University of Chicago. Off-Off Campus. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

Off- Off Campus is the second oldest continuously running student improvisation theater troupe in the country, with the first generation of actors dating back to 1986. Improvisational and sketch comedy first started at the University of Chicago in the 1950’s as a group of students formed the Compass players on campus, which in 1959 became The Second City. In 1986, U of C Alum and Second City co-founder Bernie Sahlins (A.B. ’43) returned the University campus in order to begin a south side group to rival his north side creation. Sahlins trained the first generation of Off-Off Campus in the art of sketch and improve comedy, using the same technique he had developed and taught 27 year prior within his classroom. The group has continued to use this same regiment of training since.

The troupe is set to the rhythm of the University of Chicago quarter system, casting a new “generation” each fall, who regularly produce a theater revue in the autumn, winter, and spring. The group also brought comedy to the orientation week (O-Week) of the University of Chicago and many other Midwest schools as they used sketch comedy as a means of transmitting messages and mirth to incoming freshman. For a period of time, the group also participated in the international Fringe Theater festival.

Some of the groups alumni have gone on to further success in theater and comedy including David Auburn, winner of the Pulitzer prize for his show (and now film) Proof, Greg Kotis, best known for penning the Tony award winning musical Urinetown, and Tami Sagher, writer on the television series “30 Rock.” Early comedic sketches written by David Auburn and Tami Sagher can be found within the collection.

Scope Note

The collection contains assorted administrative records from the campus group including correspondence regarding its founding, general correspondence, budgets, and scenes related to their Orientation tours and Edinburgh fringe festival ephemera related to their productions. The collection also contains a vast collection of their written scenes dating from the first generation of the troupe (1986) until today. Some of these represent the early comedic works of writers David Auburn and Tami Sagher.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

http://off-off.uchicago.edu

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: General Administrative

Box 1   Folder 1

Off-Off Campus Constitution, undated

Box 1   Folder 2

Running Order and Schedules, 1987

Box 1   Folder 3

Audition, The second generation 1986-1987

Box 1   Folder 4

Auditions, The eighth generation, 1993

Box 1   Folder 5

Off-Off Campus clippings 1986-1994

Box 1   Folder 6

Casting, budgets, correspondence, 1985-1990

Box 1   Folder 7

Posters, scenes, clippings, correspondence, 1988-1995

Box 1   Folder 8

Posters, Mailing Lists, Correspondence, 1993-1994

Box 1   Folder 9

Cast List, 2008

Box 1   Folder 10

Program Pictures, 1994-2005

Box 1   Folder 11

Program Pictures Spring 1997-1997

Box 1   Folder 12

Program Pictures 2005-2006

Box 1   Folder 13

Pre-Fall Shows, Programs, 1992-1993

Box 1   Folder 14

'Peel Carefully, Display Proudly' Program, Spring 1992

Box 1   Folder 15

'Euripides, You Pay for them' Program, Autumn 1993

Box 1   Folder 16

'Slinky: The Unwinding' Program, 1994

Box 1   Folder 17

'The comedy Group Formerly Known as: Off-Off Campus' Program, Autumn 1994

Box 1   Folder 18

'All Thumbz, no Fonz' Program, Spring 1995

Box 1   Folder 19

Tickets, 1995

Box 1   Folder 20

'UnderDogma' Program, Spring, 1997

Box 1   Folder 21

'Improv-o-rama' Program, Summer 1998

Box 1   Folder 22

'Big Bang, Big Crunch, Big Deal' Program, Autumn 1998

Box 1   Folder 23

'Truth Decay' Program, winter 2000

Box 1   Folder 24

'The Amazing Lipnicki Revolution' Program, Winter 2000

Box 1   Folder 25

'Plays of Future Past' Program, Winter 2001

Box 1   Folder 26

'If these Balls Could Talk' Program, Autumn 2001

Box 1   Folder 27

'Riddle of the Sphinx' Program, Spring 2002

Box 1   Folder 28

'Recess(ion)' Program, Autumn 2008

Box 1   Folder 29

Advertising, 2005-2006

Box 1   Folder 30

A river runs through Id Program, DVD 2002

Series II: Short Scenes

Box 1   Folder 31

Scenes 1988-1995

Box 1   Folder 32

Plays for Off-Off campus First and Second Generations, 1987-1993

Box 1   Folder 33

Short Scenes by Third and Fourth Generation (1), 1989-1991

Box 2   Folder 1

Short Scenes by Third and Fourth Generations (2), 1989-1991

Box 2   Folder 2

Short Scenes by Third and Fourth Generations (3), 1989-1991

Box 2   Folder 3

Short Scenes by Third and Fourth Generations (4), 1987-1994

Box 2   Folder 4

Short Scenes by Third and Fourth Generations (5), 1987-1994

Box 2   Folder 5

Short Scenes by Fifth and Sixth Generations (1), 1993

Box 2   Folder 6

Short Scenes by Fifth and Sixth Generations (2), 1993

Box 2   Folder 7

Short Scenes by Fifth and Sixth Generations (3), 1993

Box 2   Folder 8

Short Scenes by Seventh and Eighth Generations (1), 1990-1994

Box 2   Folder 9

Short Scenes by Seventh and Eighth Generations (2), 1993-1994

Box 3   Folder 1

Short Scenes by Seventh and Eighth Generations (3), 1994

Box 3   Folder 2

Short Scenes by the Twelfth Generation, 1998-1999

Box 3   Folder 3

Short Scenes by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Generations (1), 1999-2001

Box 3   Folder 4

Short Scenes by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Generations (2), 2000-2001

Box 3   Folder 5

Short Scenes by the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Generations, 2003

Box 3   Folder 6

Short Scenes by the Nineteenth and Twentieth Generations, 2005-2006

Box 3   Folder 7

Short Scenes by the Twenty Second Generation, 2008

Box 3   Folder 8

Short Scenes, undated

Box 3   Folder 9

Short Scene: Reunion, undated

Series III: Orientation Week, Laughing For Understanding, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Box 3   Folder 10

O-Week Scenes and Scene Lists, 1986-1993

Box 3   Folder 11

Orientation Week Scenes and Information (1),1991-1993

Box 3   Folder 12

Orientation Week Scenes and Information (2), Flyers, 1991-1993

Box 3   Folder 13

Orientation Information, 1995

Box 3   Folder 14

Off-Off Campus Tour, 1994-1995

Box 3   Folder 15

Laughing for Understanding Performance Agreement (1), 1995

Box 3   Folder 16

Laughing for Understanding Performance Agreements (2), 1995

Box 3   Folder 17

Laughing for Understanding Scenes (1), 1995

Box 4   Folder 1

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 1989-1995

Box 4   Folder 2

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 1989-1995

Box 4   Folder 3

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 1991

Box 4   Folder 4

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 1991-1993

Box 4   Folder 5

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (1), 1993

Box 4   Folder 6

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2), 1993

Box 4   Folder 7

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (3), 1993

Box 4   Folder 8

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (1), 1994-1995

Box 4   Folder 9

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2), 1994-1995

Box 4   Folder 10

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 1995

Box 5   Folder 1

Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Checks, 1993-1995 [R-50]

Series IV: Oversize Advertising Posters

Box 6   Folder 1

'Gill Kill ProuDale, ' Poster (1), 2001

Box 6   Folder 2

'Gill Kill ProuDale Poster (2), 2001

Box 6   Folder 3

'The Spooky Good Improv Hour' Poster, undated

Box 7   Folder 1

'Honey I Faxed the Kids' Posters, Fall 1989

Box 7   Folder 2

'Discomforts at Yalta' Poster, spring 1991

Box 7   Folder 3

'Answers to Odd Numbered Problems' Poster, Winter 1992

Box 7   Folder 4

'Peel Carefully, Display Proudly' Poster, spring 1992

Box 7   Folder 5

'Euripides, You pay for them' Poster, Fall 1993

Box 7   Folder 6

'Looks Like Wicker, Feels Like Heaven' Poster, Spring 1994

Box 7   Folder 7

'Winfield, Alabama' Poster, Winter 1994

Box 7   Folder 8

'You say Potato, I say New Jersey' Poster, Spring 1995

Box 7   Folder 9

'Step 5: Destroy' Poster, Winter 1996

Box 7   Folder 10

'UnderDogma' Posters, 1997

Box 7   Folder 11

'Glacier!' Poster, Winter 1998

Box 7   Folder 12

'Spaghetti Western Canon' Poster, Spring 1998

Box 7   Folder 13

'Big Bang, Big Crunch, Big Deal' Poster, Fall 1998

Box 8   Folder 1

'You're a Dead Man, Charlie Brown' Poster, Winter 1999

Box 8   Folder 2

'The Afterlife for Dummies' Poster, Spring 2000

Box 8   Folder 3

'Plays of Future Past' Poster, 2001

Box 8   Folder 4

'A River Runs Through Id' Poster, Fall 2002

Box 8   Folder 5

'Pastor Muppets' Poster, Winter 2003

Box 8   Folder 6

'Pillow Fight Club' Poster, Spring 2003

Box 8   Folder 7

'Pants Pants Revolution!' Poster, Spring 2005

Box 8   Folder 8

'The House that Crack Built' Poster, fall 2004

Box 8   Folder 9

'Mild, Mild West' Poster, Winter 2005

Box 8   Folder 10

'Welcome to the Pleasure Dome' Poster, Fall 2005

Box 8   Folder 11

'Where the Wild Things At' Poster, 2006

Box 8   Folder 12

'Umbrella for Beginners' Poster, Spring 2006

Box 8   Folder 13

'The Giving up Tree' Poster, 2006-2007