Chicago Theater community mourns the death of Sheldon Patinkin

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Chicago’s theater community is mourning the loss of a pioneer in Chicago theater.

Sheldon Patinkin died yesterday.  He was 79.

Patinkin was born in Chicago in 1935.  He was the longtime chair of the Theater Department at Columbia College and a pioneer of the Chicago improvisation scene.  He was an original member of the Playwrights Theater Club that inspired the creation of The Second City.

He had a half-century association with Second City, where he remained an artistic consultant. He was also associated with many other Chicago theaters, including the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he was an important source of guidance in the early years and where he continued to direct and consult.

Survivors include his brother, Norm Patinkin.

Funeral services are set for tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Sholom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights.

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