Sheldon Patinkin (August 27, 1935-September 21, 2014)

Sheldon Patinkin Celebration Video Posted


An archival video of “A Celebration of the Life of Sheldon Patinkin” is available for viewing at the Columbia College Chicago web page for the Sheldon Patinkin Endowed Award. The memorial tribute to Patinkin–longtime chair of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department, who died September 21, 2014–was held on January 26, 2015, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. More than 800 people gathered for the event, which was video-documented for archival purposes. The event was presented by Columbia College Chicago, The Second City comedy theatre, and the Tony Award-winning Steppenwolf Theatre Company–three organizations with which Patinkin had deep and longstanding personal and professional connections.


Among the speakers seen in the video are:


emcee Scott Adsit, a Columbia College alumnus, former Second City mainstage cast member, and star of the recent film Big Hero 6;


Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim, president of Columbia College Chicago;


Andrew Alexander, CEO and executive vice president of Second City and former producer of the groundbreaking SCTV comedy series, for which Patinkin was a writer and associate producer;


actor Martha Lavey, artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre;


director David Cromer, a Columbia College Chicago alumnus and former student of Patinkin’s, who also read a statement from his fellow Columbia College alum, director and Steppenwolf ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro;


actor, director, and Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department faculty member Tom Mula;



Patinkin family members Lynn Patinkin and Simon Landon;


Anne Libera, Director of Comedy Studies at Second City and coordinator of the Columbia College Theatre Department’s Comedy Writing and Performance Program;


actor and Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department teacher Meg Thalken;


actor Michael Patrick Thornton, artistic director of the Gift Theatre;


actor, director, and Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department professor Caroline Latta;


and actor Jeff Perry, co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre.


Also appearing are Columbia Theatre Department students Ren Griffith, Courtney Mack, David Stobbe, and Cole McMillan, accompanied by Theatre Department musical director Andra Velis Simon, performing “No One Is Alone” from Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods–the Columbia College mainstage production Patinkin was directing at the time of his death.

Also posted on the Sheldon Patinkin Endowed Award web page is a short video interview with Patinkin, illustrated with images from his career as a director, teacher, and performer, created by Columbia College Chicago Television Department chair Michael Niederman and Theatre Department professor and alumnus Brian Shaw.

The Sheldon Patinkin Endowed Award was established by Sheldon Patinkin and friends at Columbia College Chicago. The fund will give an outstanding Theatre student a cash stipend in his or her senior year at Columbia to aid in his or her journey toward a professional career. Donations to this fund are greatly appreciated and may be made online at

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