Smile Politely

Nick Offerman is returning to C-U for two Japan House fundraisers

Man of many talents Nick Offerman will return to C-U the first week of December. Here’s the official announcement from JH:

Humorist Nick Offerman returns to the site of his youthful matriculation with a collection of sawdusty musings on living with enthusiasm, crafting things in wood and most importantly, cultivating mirth.

Nick Offerman, University of Illinois Alum, generously is performing these two shows as fundraisers for the future Japan House Annex. Tickets for the Virginia Theatre show on December 3 will go on sale for the public on Friday, November 16 ( Very special VIP tickets for $250 will also be available to the public. This VIP ticket entitles you to prime seats in the house and an after-show “meet and greet” on stage cocktail gathering with Mr. Offerman – only 20 tickets will be available.

Mr. Offerman wanted to do a second show specifically for students of the University of Illinois at Foellinger Auditorium. This show will take place on December 4 and tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, November 14 (

Mr. Nick Offerman is best known for his role as Ron Swanson on the NBC hit comedy series “Parks and Recreation,” and he was the U. of I.’s commencement speaker at Memorial Stadium last year. In addition to his acting career, Mr. Offerman is a well-known author of numerous best-selling books and woodworker who also founded, Offerman Woodshop, in Los Angeles. Offerman is a native of Minnoka, Illinois and graduate from the University of Illinois in theatre in 1993. As a theatre student, Offerman enrolled in classes taught by Professor Shozo Sato, founder of Japan House. The two have remained close and Offerman continues to honor his Sensei through his generous support of Japan House.

Japan House is overwhelmed by Nick’s generosity and continued longtime support of our mission and efforts to share traditional Japanese Arts and Culture in our community and our campus. Japan House shares their deepest gratitude to Nick for his friendship and kindness. Japan House also thanks this community and campus for embracing cultural diversity and for their eagerness to expand their understanding of the world in which we live.

All of the proceeds will go to Japan House, and will be used to help build their annex that will include a classroom, an accessible tea room, a commerical kitchen, storage space, and a café. You can find out more about plans for The Annex in our interview with Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud, Director of Japan House. 

We’ve also interviewed Offerman a couple of times: when he brought his show American Ham to Foellinger Auditorum (a visit where he also hosted an East Meets West dinner with former JH Director Shozo Sato), and in anticipation of another Japan House benefit in 2017

We are a fortunate community indeed to have the continued support of Offerman, whose unique relationship with Japan House and the U of I keeps him coming back again and again.

An Evening with Nick Offerman
Virginia Theatre
203 W Park
December 3rd, doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets go on sale November 16th

Foellinger Auditorium
709 S. Mathews
December 4th, doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets (for students) go on sale November 14th

Managing Editor

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