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Ohio University Zanesville students' comedy writing skills tested at Bryan Place

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (May 26, 2005) -- Ohio University's comedy writing class is hoping all seats are filled at Bryan Place in downtown Zanesville on Tuesday, May 31. In fact, their grade depends on it.

Each student will prepare and deliver a five-minute stand-up comedy routine for the final exam. Doors open at 6 p.m., local band Disturbing the Peace will play then the comedy gets underway at 8:30. There is no cover charge for the evening's entertainment.

Professor Mark Shatz's course gives students the chance to learn different techniques used by the masters of comedy. Created by Mel Helitzer, Professor of Journalism on the Athens campus, the class is one of the nation's first university courses on humor writing. The class format has been featured in Newsweek and the New York Times.

Shatz explains the format for the final exam. "Stand-up comedy is the most condensed form of humor writing. Success requires that the students draw on all the writing skills they learn in the course. And the only way to truly test humor writing is to perform before an audience."

The students who will take the stage Tuesday night include Dawn Weber of Brownsville; Jackie Hickman from Byesville; Stephen Gasperowich from Cambridge; Theresa Rosser of Chesterhill; Joshua Eick from Coshocton; Gerald Perea of Mason; Janine McGuire of New Lexington; Evette Langford of Roseville and from Zanesville, Andrew Bell, Sherri Francis, Heath Girton, Kristopher Kopchak, Kelly Mayercak, and Taylor Russell.

The public is invited to this free performance, but plan to arrive early, as seating is limited. Beverages and finger foods will be "table served" throughout the evening of comedy. Reservations can be made by contacting Bryan Place, located at 49 N. 4th Street in Historic Downtown Zanesville, at (740) 450-8008. For more information on the comedy final, contact Shatz at (740) 588-1496 or by email at shatz@ohio.edu.

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Media Contact: Christine Shaw, (740) 588-1509 or ouzpr@ohio.edu  

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