Five things I learned at the Women in Comedy Festival
Fri Mar 18 2011
1. There are more seriously funny ladies in the comedy world right now then there have ever been before. Rachel Dratch, Morgan Murphy, Jen Kirkman and Kristen Schaal were among the headliners at the third annual Women in Comedy Festival (womenincomedyfestival.com) in Boston this past weekend, drawing sellout crowds and attention from industry and the press. 210 performers in 36 shows between Wednesday, March 9, and Sunday 13, sold more than 1,500 tickets on whole.
2. Things are going pretty well for women in comedy these days. In two panel discussions (I sat on one) on the state of the comedy industry in general and, in particular, the roles women are currently playing therein, industry and talent came to the conclusion that the glass ceiling is significantly higher than it was 15 years ago. And that the industry is better for it.
3. We want to see more of each of these performers: Kat Radley from L.A. (katradley.com), Kendra Cunningham (kendracunningham.com), Giulia Rozzi (giuliarozzi.com), Meghan O'Neill (magnettheater.com), Laura Grey (newyork.ucbtheatre.com), Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting (skinnybitchcomedy.com) and Somebody's in the Doghouse (somebodysinthedoghouse.com).
4. Why the festival is already in its third year and will continue to be a success: Quality talent and professional production are two clear reasons why WICF is successful and growing. Less obvious but more valuable is its ethos: The festival is about women doing, not women complaining.
5. Dudes are ladies too. Kurt Braunohler, Myq Kaplan and dozens of hilarious people who happen to have penises were also on the bill. I heard a similar sentiment from several guys: At the beginning of the festival, they confessed to feeling awkward about participating, but by the end they were hoping to be invited back next year.