Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival: A Small Evolution Begins

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Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival returns for the Sixth Year featuring some amazing headliners like Amy Sedaris, Maria Bamford, and Judy Gold alongside some great improv, and a first-rate line up of panelists and workshops.

Why have a Women in Comedy Festival? According to one of the festival’s organizers, Elyse Schuerman, the approach is embracing, with both men and women on the bill. “We wanted it to be a festival with great comedy, and the best way to do that is to just make it about comedy and focus on women,” Schuerman told us. “If we called it the Women in Comedy festival, we knew women would find it. We don’t have any set numbers that we try to reach with the genders, but it just sort of happens that women are the majority of the applicants, so we get about 75% women. That tends to be perfect for the festival. It puts the typical ratio on its head.”

This year’s line up features great talent. Like Maria Bamford– particularly exciting for the Boston area, because she doesn’t get to town often. Jackie Kashian will be bringing Dork Forest Podcast to a live studio audience at the festival. Cameron Esposito, whose career is skyrocketing right now will be performing. The brilliantly funny Amy Sedaris was just recently added to the lineup as well. Judy Gold, who is always a great performer is also being added to the roster this year.  And that’s just the beginning. There are over 200 performers including improv groups, musical comedy performances, and 33 shows over the course of four days, plus workshops and panel discussions.

Our dream would be to somehow influence a small evolution in the next ten years, and we’re just trying to see if we can just keep showing people how women are just great, and so are men.”

The panel discussions add another dimension to the festival and is one of the unique highlights of WICF. This years panels promise to be particularly interesting, with Eddie Brill former talent booker for David Letterman, heading up one of the talks. Some may remember that two years ago, Eddie Brill was at the center of some controversy over comments he made in an interview with the New York Times concerning women in comedy. His remarks were somewhat critical of female comics, and he lost his job as booker with the Letterman show as a result. Brill and the other panelists will address those issues head on in a Panel discussion about “Making It.” Brill will be joining Judy Gold, Erin Jackson and Wendy Liebman to talk about what factors account for disparity in the industry.

A second panel event with HBO Comedy Producer Stephanie Laing will focus on her Emmy award-winning career as the a producer on “Eastbound & Down” and “Veep”.

The WICF promises to be full of great performances, and great conversations alike. You can get additional information, and get tickets by visiting www.womenincomedyfestival.com.

“Our dream would be to somehow influence a small evolution in the next ten years, and we’re just trying to see if we can just keep showing people how women are just great, and so are men. We’re all equally fabulous if we’re showcased appropriately.”

                  — Co Producer Elyse Schuerman