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Oct. 8: James Lumber Center opens 25th anniversary season with HYPROV

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 01, 2021

HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis opens the 2021-2022 season at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts (JLC) at College of Lake County (CLC) on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Colin Mochrie, the star of the long-running “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” joins forces with master hypnotist Asad Mecci for the return of this live show that combines hypnosis and improv for a unique comedy experience.

“I’ve been hypnotizing people for 20 years, but when I studied improv, I had an epiphany: hypnosis could unlock the comedic genius in everyday people and turn them into pros,” Mecci said. “You never know which participants will go under hypnosis and for how long. But that’s part of the show and what adds to the laughs.”

“When we tried this for the first time onstage, I was absolutely petrified. Then I thought, ‘let’s just see where this takes us,’” Mochrie said. “Adding in the element of hypnosis to improv really allows people to let their guard down and have fun in a scene. They’re certainly the most interesting stage partners I’ve ever had!”

HYPROV was co-created by Mochrie and Mecci in 2016 at Toronto’s Second City. After working it out on stage, they took the show on the road to Just for Laughs London, Just for Laughs Montreal and the Edinburgh Fringe, where it was received with rave reviews in 2016 and 2017. The duo set out on a 50-city tour in 2019 and performed in 43 cities to multiple sold-out crowds across the U.S. and Canada before the pandemic caused them to postpone several dates.

The show begins with Mecci welcoming 20 volunteers on stage to be hypnotized. He whittles them down to four or five of the most susceptible and then brings Mochrie out to improvise with them — while they are under hypnosis. In the hands of two experts, and solely crafted from the audience’s uninhibited unconscious mind, each show is an entirely original and completely unforgettable theatrical experience.

Thirty audience volunteers are needed to fill 20 stage seats. Patrons interested in participating in this interactive show must obtain a registration link through the JLC Box Office. Volunteers will be required to upload both proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the show to participate on stage.

For tickets and information on being an audience volunteer, call the JLC Box Office at (847) 543-2300 or send an email to Print-at-home tickets are no longer available. The JLC Box Office hours are Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Leave a message if calling outside Box Office hours. For more information on the show, visit

The JLC has implemented extra safety precautions to ensure your well-being and comfort. All performers onstage for this performance will be unmasked. Audience and venue support (backstage and front of house) will remain masked inside the venue. Masks are required for everyone at CLC and the JLC. Seating in the Mainstage will have reduced capacity to accommodate social distancing. CLC has enhanced cleaning procedures in the theatre, restroom and common touchpoints. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the JLC lobby.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.