Jim Jacobs Establishes Student Scholarship
Jim Jacobs, actor, singer, songwriter, and coauthor of the hit musical Grease, has established a scholarship for continuing musical theatre majors demonstrating financial need, entering their sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago.
"This is for those students who once thought that what they were thinking about, most of the time, was an impossible dream. It is with great pleasure that I can establish a musical theatre scholarship at Columbia College Chicago," Jacobs said.
Though Jacobs now resides in southern California, his ties to Chicago and to Columbia College remain deep and strong.
Jacobs began his theatrical career in Chicago in the 1960s, where he was part of the first wave of the "Off-Loop Theatre" that helped make the city an international cultural capital. He worked with the fabled Hull House Theater under artistic director Robert Sickinger and with Second City co-founder Paul Sills, and his performance in the title role of "Jimmy Shine" in 1969 at the Candlelight/Forum Theatre under director William Pullinsi earned him a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for best actor. He also appeared in the classic 1969 film Medium Cool.
In 1970, Jacobs and his fellow actor and writing partner, the late Warren Casey, wrote Grease, based on Jacobs' experiences as a teenage "greaser" in the late 1950s at Taft High School on the city's Northwest Side.
In its premiere at Chicago's Kingston Mines Theatre in 1971, the show was a runaway success and attracted the attention of New York producers. Grease opened Off-Broadway in 1972 and transferred to Broadway later the same year.
At the time the original production closed in 1980, it was the longest-running show in Broadway history. Its 1978 film version, for which Jacobs and Casey penned new songs, was also a hit; a sequel, Grease 2, was released in 1982, and a second sequel is in development.
Jacobs' other writing credits include Island of Lost Co-eds, also coauthored with Warren Casey. A spoof of 1950s sci-fi/horror/jungle movies, the show was produced at Columbia College as the inaugural production in the Getz Theatre.
Students interested in applying for the scholarship should visit the Student Financial Services website for more information. Applications are due February 1, 2013.