North Central College - Naperville, IL

College hosts a comic review of calculus

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March 14, 2011—North Central College welcomes a return engagement of “Calculus: The Musical!”—a dynamic theatrical journey through the concepts and history of calculus with a unique, comedic approach to learning.

High school math teacher Marc Gutman of Minneapolis found that setting formulas and rules to music helped his students learn and retain tricky information. His classroom exercises became the seed for this show, which will interest middle school, high school and college-aged students and teachers. 

The 2010-2011 national tour of “Calculus: The Musical!” will be performed by Know Theatre of Cincinnati with two performances at 4 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. The production is co-sponsored by North Central College’s Cultural Events Committee and Science Division. Admission is free. However, groups of 10 or more need to contact Judy Brodhead in advance; email or call 630-637-5276.

Using parodies that span genres, from light opera to hip hop, “Calculus: The Musical!” blends sketch comedy, musical theatre and classroom lecture into an engaging and educational lesson that’s nothing like a high school textbook. With a unique comic style, actors Jae Boley and Sean Powell dramatize some high points of calculus’ history. From Archimedes to Riemann, the quest for the instantaneous rate of change and the area under the curve comes to life through song. The Beatles, Gilbert & Sullivan, Petula Clark and even Eminem are just a few of the artists who have inspired this educational lesson.

This musical theatre production is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.

Contact:  Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306