Intro to Stand-Up for Women & Non-Binary Voices

Our project, a stand-up comedy class exclusively for women and non-binary individuals, aims to transform the local comedy scene into a more inclusive and supportive environment. At Happy Valley Improv, we've observed a stark gender imbalance at our events, with a recent open mic night featuring 13 men and no women or non-binary participants. This disparity is not unique to our community and reflects a broader issue within the comedy industry, where diverse voices are often marginalized.

This class, led by Tyler O. Jones, a respected Black woman and comedian in our local community, will provide a safe and nurturing space for underrepresented voices to explore and express their comedic talents. By offering this course, we aim to empower participants to share their unique perspectives and experiences, challenging a system that has historically labeled them as "not funny."

Funding from the Awesome Foundation will enable us to offer this transformative experience at no cost to the first five registrants and at a discounted rate for others, making it accessible to those who might otherwise be unable to participate. The class will be limited to 10 students to foster a tight-knit community and ensure individual attention.

Participants will learn various joke-writing and delivery techniques, engage in discussions about comedy, and prepare a 5-minute stand-up set. The program will conclude with a showcase at the Blue Brick Theatre, where students will perform their routines to an audience of family, friends, and community members, promoting diversity and inclusivity within the local arts scene.

By funding this project, the Awesome Foundation would not only support the growth of local artists but also champion a shift towards a more inclusive and diverse comedic community in State College.

Funded by State College, PA (April 2024)