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Comedy Wed Sep 07 2011
Things are looking up for women in comedy. As a society we seem to be over the whole "Are women funny?" debate, and for the most part we've collectively come to the conclusion that indeed they are. Movies and sitcoms written by and starring women are proving to be both critical and commercial successes, and slowly the tides seem to be changing for the better. However, women still have a ways to go. Here in Chicago it's still the norm to see a ten person improv group with only one or two token female members, and a recent Comedy Central "Comics to Watch" showcase didn't include a single woman. Enter Chicago Ladies in Comedy.
Chicago Ladies in Comedy (CLiC) originally took shape as the Chicago Women's Improv Forum and has evolved into an organization that fosters and supports women involved in not only improv, but any type of comedic performance. When discussing the need for an organization like CLiC, founding member Rebecca Grossman shared her own experience, "I was feeling safer in a place of all women because I was used to the way women communicate, so I could learn the skills needed to be onstage with women or men easier and faster and in a stronger way, when it was all women. And I thought if this is working for me, it might work for other women too." Grossman has a background in theatre and sketch/improv, and other members also come from stand-up, burlesque, music, and other genres.
Since its inception, the group has transformed from weekly improv workshops into an organization that offers workshops in a variety of disciplines, a stand-up showcase, networking events, and more. This weekend the organization is hosting a panel discussion titled, fittingly, "Ladies...in Comedy!" The discussion will be moderated by Deanna Moffitt, and the panelists include Tara DeFrancisco, Cameron Esposito, Jet Eveleth, Anne Libera, Rachael Mason, Susan Messing and Katie Rich. They're a venerable "who's who" of beloved and respected Chicago comedy players who have experience that runs the gamut from improv to stand-up to sketch to directing. The forum is open to both and women and men, and is sure to be an insightful event for both novices and veterans of the Chicago comedy scene.
"Ladies...in Comedy!" is this Saturday, September 10 at 3:30 p.m. at Comedy Sportz (929 W. Belmont). Following the forum is an all-women ComedySportz improv show at 6 p.m. To keep up with other CLiC happenings check out their website or follow them on Facebook.