By Kayla Sosa | photos courtesy of Amy Gascon
A celebration of the unique voice women bring to comedy will take place once again with the Lass Laugh Comedy Festival. Described as “comedy by women, for everyone,” the festival honors comedy by anyone “who identifies with the female experience” from Michigan and beyond.
Amy Gascon and Kristin Hirsch founded the festival in 2018.
“I just really like the idea of a whole weekend dedicated to what is usually a subset of the comedy scene,” Hirsch said. “I thought it would be beneficial for both the performers and the audience to see that.”
The festival runs for two days on May 17 and 18, featuring a variety of performers each day. The comedy styles range from sketch to improv and standup to storytelling and podcasting.
“The performers loved being in an environment where it’s just women lifting up other women,” Gascon said. “I think we’re at a really cool point in our media culture right now, like Broad City and all these relationships where it shows best friends, and people just being champions of one another. I think women are seeing that more now and being like, ‘that’s the kind of relationships I want to have with people,’ not the catty, competitive relationships.”
Gascon is also the education coordinator for The Comedy Project, a local comedy theatre and training center. She said while there is a good mix of women enrolled in the program, there could be more.
“I think more women need to be exposed to comedy and see themselves as a performer, so that they’re more brave to try,” she said. “If you don’t ever see anybody that represents you, then you start to think, ‘That’s not a place for me, that’s not where I belong.’”
Hirsch said it’s important to note that the comedy may be made by women, it’s for all audiences.
“The female voice in comedy is something that we can all benefit from hearing, just like any underrepresented group,” she said. “It highlights women in comedy, but it benefits everyone.”
For ticket information, visit lasslaugh.com
What: Lass Laugh Comedy Festival
When: May 17 and 18, 7:30 — 9:30 pm
Where: Dog Story Theatre, 7 Jefferson AVE SE