Bloomers wants you to know that women are funny.

The all-women comedy troupe’s annual LaughtHERfest, celebrating women in comedy, will take place Sept. 23 and feature comedic talents such as Aparna Nancherla and Reductress Live. In its third year, LaughtHERfest began as the “brain child” of 2016 College graduate Laura Petro.

“We couldn't any female or women comedy festivals that we could be a part of, so we thought, ‘Why don't we start one ourselves?’” Chairwoman of Bloomers and Wharton and Engineering senior Meghana Jayam explained. “It is a chance for us to showcase women who are so talented in the field and bring them to Penn.”

LaughtHERfest has even inspired other woman comics to form similar groups. One writer from Brown University came to LaughtHERfest and was inspired to start her own all-female sketch group at Brown.

Jayam described LaughtHERfest as an opportunity to showcase successful women in comedy.

“We are really looking for funny women who are accomplished who share the same message as us and want to come and shed light on this topic,“ Jayam said.

In addition to the evening performance, the event will also include a morning panel and workshops throughout the day. These workshops are free of charge and led by successful woman comedic professionals such as Emmy Blotnick. They focus on improv, stand up and producing your own comedy. Jayam stressed the importance of allowing women to get involved in comedy early on and LaughtHERfest’s role in that goal.

“As far as teaching people the actual skills and opening their eyes to this world, I think the workshops are unbeatable.” Jayam said. “They have really made it and are here to share and help us learn. That really speaks to the LaughtHERfest message.”

Bloomers Band Director and Marketing Director of LaughtHERfest College senior Mica Tenanbaum expressed her excitement for the Reductress Live portion of the evening show.

“I am a really excited to see how they bring Reductress to life to a performance because we usually only know them from print,” Tenanbaum said. “It is so cool to get these women to come to Penn and really learn what from what it is like to be a woman in comedy in the industry.”

Talent Coordinator for LaughtHERfest College junior Lauren Sorantino dealt with finding talent for the event, which involved creating contracts, dealing with budgetary constraints, and navigating industry protocol. Though Sorantino hopes to see the event expand in the coming years, she is immensely proud of the work Bloomers has put in for this years' festival

“I am so amazed and grateful to be surrounded by, this year it was three other women, who did all this work for no money, for this cause that they were just intently passionate about. I think that is newsworthy.”

Ticket and event information can be found on the Bloomers website.


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