The Washington, D.C. area has a thriving comedy scene. As in most places, the majority of stand comedy shows in DC are primarily made up of male comedians. Open mics can be very intimidating environments -- in addition to the expected nerves of trying new material for strangers, female-identifying individuals (particularly those of color, trans women, religious minorities, those with disabilities, and others) may be (understandably) daunted by going alone to a bar at night with few other non-male comics around to perform material from a minority perspective. As the saying goes, "you have to see it to be it," and comedy mics as they exist today send implicit messages about who belongs on stage and who does not.
Grassroots believes that women and non-binary folx belong on stage and that amplifying the diverse voices of the DMV is critical. This Spring, Grassroots is creating and launching a new incubator program for women and non-binary folx. We are seeking new comics, from those who have never been on stage to those who have been performing for up to two years, to apply and join our small cohort. The Cohort will meet several times for weekly workshops, getting the opportunity to network with other comedians (peers who are new in the space as well as more seasoned comics), explore joke structure and formats, and – most of all – to build community and workshop material. The Incubator will culminate in a showcase held at The Outrage.