Get your Fat Amy T-shirt just in time to support Rebel Wilson as host on MTV’s Movie Awards!
Get your Fat Amy T-shirt just in time to support Rebel Wilson as host on MTV’s Movie Awards!
Bringing together women and men from all walks of comedy: improv, sketch, stand up, musical comedy, and storytelling stand up, WICF gives Boston comedy audiences a chance to see both local and nationally known comedians, and industry a chance to scout terrific talent.
Our goal is to close the gender gap in comedy. Our festival is open to show and workshop submissions from people of all genders.
What’s New in 2013
The the Fifth Annual Women in Comedy Festival will run from Thursday, March 21st – Sunday, March 24th in Boston and Cambridge, MA, and will include acclaimed stand-up comedians, improv and sketch groups, musical comedy groups and solo artistis, and storytellers. There will be panel discussions to increase the dialogue among comedians and provide vital information about the creative and business side of comedy. Most panels are open and free to the public. Workshops with award winning working comedians and bookers are available to the public.
Michelle Barbera and Maria Ciampa created the Women in Comedy Festival in 2009, and co-producer Elyse Schuerman came onboard the very next year. the three co-producers have been working together in the Boston comedy scene for almost a decade in various improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy shows. Michelle, Maria, and Elyse welcomed Hillary Buckholtz as Co-Producer for WICF 2012. Hillary has worked with the festival as Head of Public Relations and has been a big part of WICF in many other areas over the last three years. In 2012, we welcomed Michelle McNulty as Associate Producer. Michelle has over a decade of experience performing and writing comedy, and brings strong managerial and organizational skills to the festival.
CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE:http://www.womenincomedyfestival.com/
The first episode of Tina Fey’s “30 Rock,” which aired on Oct. 11, 2006, was momentous because it marked the first time a woman was funny on television. Ever. In all of history. Says almost anyone in the media.
Or maybe women have always been funny.
And just as opportunities have opened up for women in almost any industry, maybe women are not drawing attention because they are finally funny—maybe they’re drawing attention because there are now more opportunities and venues than ever before for women to shine in comedic roles.
The Guardian called Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes this year historic in that “they were possibly the first ever hosts of a Los Angeles awards ceremony who were genuinely good…that’s an achievement that—since they have always insisted on being seen as comedians and not ‘women comedians’—will bring them more pride.”
Tina Fey has become a frontier women in the world of comedy. Not only is she helping to open doors for women in comedy, she is opening doors for comedy in general. Olivia Johnson of The Spectator, comments on what this huge achievement means for women in the world of comedy.
One year after “30 Rock” premiered, in the January 2007 edition of Vanity Fair, Christopher Hitchens published his subtle piece “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” Citing a Stanford research study done on the topic, Hitchens claims, “[Women are] slower to get it, more pleased when they do, and swift to locate the unfunny—for this we need the Stanford University School of Medicine? And remember, this is women when confronted with humor. Is it any wonder that they are backward in generating it?”
This was in the year 2007. Six years ago. In the 21st century. Long after women’s comedy “pioneers” like Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers arrived on the scene, and long since society as a whole should have been done asking and debating a question with such an obvious answer.
It took until 2008 for people to publicly note what may always have been an unspoken cultural norm: women can be funny too.
Book about the come-up of women in the world of comedy.
Written by Yael Kohen.
We Killed: The Rise Of Women In American Comedy is a sprawling oral history that grew out of a Marie Claire piece. A book filled with the voices of female comics and their colleagues, it’s apt to raise more questions than it answers. Ms. Kohen’s book begins by asking whether women are funny. That Christopher Hitchens wrote an apparently serious essay entitled “Why Women Aren’t Funny” in 2007 does not make this stupid question any smarter. And after 308 pages and lots of interviews, Ms. Kohen confirms what we knew from the beginning. She thinks women are funny, or she wouldn’t be writing about them.
Yet she used this specious debate as the hook for an omnibus survey of how comic style has evolved over a half-century. It begins with two very different 1960s innovators, Phyllis Diller and Elaine May, and ends with the sexual explicitness of Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and assorted newcomers. Among the nominally big thoughts on offer: Ms. Silverman and Ms. Handler prove that female comics can be both raunchy and beautiful.
Women in Burma come together through comedy during political hardships.
Just before the 2010 elections, the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) joined with comic artists “Thee Nyi Noung” to produce a highly successful comedy performance satirizing the electoral process and discrimination against women under military rule.
Performed to a packed audience in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and televised on the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), the show was groundbreaking. For the first time women took the lead as comedians, a role traditionally performed exclusively by men.
SWAN members Muay Noom Hom and Ying Hom, two of the lead comedians, talked about the experience.
Interview Originally appeared in Shan Women’s Action Network Newsletter (March 2012)
Q: What was the main objective of the comedy show?
MNH:We wanted to highlight the ongoing human rights abuses by the military regime, the effects on people’s lives, and how the elections were not going to bring real change.
Q: Why were you interested to take part in the show?
YH: Most people in Burma think that comedians should be men. I thought it was a great chance to show audiences that women could be good comedians too. I also liked the fact that it was a new way to raise women’s voices.
Q: What was it like being a comedian?
MNH: It was really hard work. We had only two weeks to practice, and had to rehearse late into the night. We were part of the main fourwoman stand-up comedy team.It was very tiring. I also knew that if I performed on stage, I might be arrested if I went back to Burma, so it was a big decision. I felt really nervous beforehand, but when I was on stage and the audience started laughing, it felt great. I’m really glad I’ve had a chance to become a comedian.
Q: What were the main challenges for you?
YH: We were all from different ethnic backgrounds, so we couldn’t speak Burmese very well and were afraid that some words or idioms wouldn’t be understood by the audience. We were also worried about our acting gestures and facial expressions, as none of us had ever acted before.
Q: What advice would you give to other women who want to be comedians?
MNH: You need to have confidence in yourself, and be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time. You also need language skills, which is why it would be great if we could also perform in our own language.
Q: What are the differences between Shan and Burmese comedy?
YH: Shans have a type of stage show called “Jad Tai” which is a drama with singing and dancing.
There are jokes, but it is not like the Burmese “a-nyein” stage shows where a row of stand-up comedians make jokes. Anyway, due to the lack of freedom of expression in Burma today, no one can publicly stage a comedy that openly criticizes the government.
Q: After this fi rst show, you have performed in several other comedy productions by WLB, shown on DVB TV. What kind of feedback have you had?
MNH: There’ve been emails from women all over Burma. They really like the shows, and want more.
It’s clear comedy is a great way to raise political awareness. A lot of people now recognize me. I’ve had compliments about my acting, but some suggested that I need to improve my pronunciation. It encourages me to try harder. I’m glad I’ve found a talent that’s useful.
I used to think I didn’t have any particular skills which were helpful for my organization, but now I feel I can do a lot for the movement.
Acclaimed actress, comedian and cultural provocateur Whoopi Goldberg, delivered the Savannah College of Art and Design’s 2011 commencement ceremony address in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia, and later championed the university live on “The View.”
the graduates listened intently as the Academy Award-winning Goldberg addressed them.
“I’m terribly jealous. I would have kicked someone’s butt to come here (for schooling),” Goldberg said to the graduates. “I would love to have a place where people understood me, and didn’t think it was ridiculous.”
Though laced with humor, Goldberg’s speech was simple and to the point as she encouraged the new graduates to be themselves as they face the world, and to stay true to their art and creativity.
“Art is a part of you. You’re the mother bird, regurgitating what is in you to give to other people,” said Goldberg. ”Always be you. Don’t let anyone make you into a sheep. Sheep just follow.”
Goldberg was realistic with the graduates as she explained the challenges of being an artist in the eye of speculation.
“It’s hard though. I’m telling you. It’s frustrating and angering, but it’s also what you can do.”
Goldberg encouraged flexibility and to stay open to evolving as an artist no matter what the medium. “If you’re not flexible you will break; and you’ve got to know that breaking is a drag.”
Possibly the biggest piece of advice to the new graduates Goldberg offered was to, “Stay true to yourself.”
Chelsea Handler Pokes Fun at Taylor Swift: Her Love Life Is ‘Embarrassing’
The comedian had some fun at the singer’s expense when she appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” and was asked to weigh in on Swift’s puzzlingly harsh criticism of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey for making a tame joke about the country crooner’s love life at the Golden Globes. Swift had repeated a quote she said she heard from Katie Couric, snipping, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
“I think that was a bold statement, but I’m not on anyone’s side because I just don’t care enough,” the “Chelsea Lately” host told Bravo’s Andy Cohen. “I like that [Taylor's] being that vociferous about something that she thinks they were out to get her. They were clearly making a joke just about her demeanor, which is embarrassing. I mean, she’s just dated so many men.”
“My theory about Taylor Swift is that she’s a virgin,” Handler, 38, continued. “That everyone breaks up with her because they date her for two weeks and she’s like, ‘I’m not gonna do it.’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, well, forget it. Then I don’t want to date you.’ Every guy thinks they’re going to devirginize her and they’re not.”
She added, “She’s never going to get devirginized, ever, ever, ever, ever.”
Chelsea seemed to have a bit of a harsh opinion about the country singer’s love life but in the end what she says is all in good fun on her part. Swift is not the first to be called out by Handler though, so she should not take any of the comments made too personally.