Comics Uncaged

Denver Zoo goes ape

Class clowns, rejoice! A new course begins next week at the Community College of Denver in which classroom antics could actually improve your grade. "I can teach anybody absolutely anything about comedy," says Julie Ireland, the new chair of CCD's theater department and the instructor of Standup Comedy 275.

The course will be organized so that students spend about a quarter of their time learning standup comedy and the rest practicing improv techniques. Ireland plans to have her pupils showcase their progress in informal performances throughout the semester, as well as at an official show -- with a paying audience -- in December. By then, she says, the class will have evolved into the first comedy troupe on the Auraria campus, to be known as "Scared Scriptless."

Standup Comedy 275 is open to anybody, and "the more the better," Ireland says. After all, the skills students will hone in the course -- quick thinking, public speaking and teamwork -- are assets off stage as well as on. Classes begin Monday, August 18, and will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2:15 p.m. in the King Center. For more information, call Ireland at 303-894-0160, or go to www.ccd.edu for registration and tuition details. -- Jonelle Wilkinson Seitz

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