Photo by David L Ryan from The Boston Globe
Madison Gallup ’17/ Emertainment Monthly TV Section Editor
Year round, there is an active and thriving comedy scene to be found in Boston and Cambridge. Students, residents, visitors, and working professionals alike can contribute to and benefit from the many shows performed on any given day. However, as is the case in many places, this scene can turn into a bit of a boy’s club. But for four days in April, the 20th-23rd, women dominated the Boston comedy scene. Everyone holding on to the notion that women are generally not funny only had to walk into one of the many Boston-area performance venues to find out just how wrong they were. Thanks to the Women in Comedy Festival (WICF), ladies were able to show off their skills in stand-up, storytelling, improv, film, and podcasting. This is a gathering of talent which is truly a treat for audience members. More than that, it is a source of inspiration and motivation for all in attendance- entertainers, volunteers, festival runners, and attendees alike. Even through peels of laughter, everyone absorbs the powerful nature of the festival and takes away meaningful messages from each and every entertainer performing or speaking at a panel.
Some prominent names in comedy undoubtedly drew people into the festival. Rachel Dratch, Sasheer Zamata, Lizz Winstead, and Rita Rudner were among the headlining acts throughout the weekend. Each shone in their individual sets, but also were clearly supportive of all the talented comics surrounding them and, in some cases, performing with them. In Zamata’s improv show, she became part of a hilarious team of improvisers from all different Boston troupes. Each woman up on stage put in effort into creating hilarious scenes on the spot; the audience audibly enjoyed every contribution. The voices of comics like Lauren Farber, Naomi Ekperigin, and Laurie Kilmartin were heard by theaters at full capacity.
In addition to being exposed to feminine comedic power, attendees of the festival were able to immerse themselves in the Boston performance culture for the weekend. Locals could discover new venues and types of shows which they might fall in love with and return to throughout the year. Visitors could develop a very comprehensive guide of some of the best areas of the city just based on traveling from show to show. Anyone looking for a good time to come see Massachusetts should try to plan their visit to coincide with the festival. Not only will the weather be warmer, the entertainment will be off the charts.
Keep an eye out for the festival next year. Content creators can submit and create short films for the film contests. Aspiring performers and writers can take part in some of the workshops offered throughout the weekend. Stand-up and improvisers can reach out for their chance to sign up for a performance slot in the coveted line-up. Everyone should feel encouraged to find a way to be a part of this festival in some capacity because, while there is a clear emphasis on woman power, the creators of this festival also deeply care about inclusion and bringing as many diverse and new voices to attention as they can.