The North Carolina Comedy Arts Changes Schedule for 2014
In the coming year, the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival will experience a big change. The festival is switching from its usual three weekends in February schedule to a ten day run in 2014. The festival will continue to feature stand-up, sketch, and improv comedy and audiences can expect some of the top rising comics from around the country to continue to appear at the festival. Festival producers are finalizing the line-up. More information can be found at www.nccomedyarts.com. Performances will be staged at venues around the area.
After several years of running the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival over multiple weekends, the festival producers decided to move the festival to straight 10 days. With the new schedule, producers hoped they could book new acts whose availability has been limited and allow performers who do multiple types of comedy a chance to perform multiple times during the festival. This year the festival is set to run from Thursday, February 6-Sunday, February 16.
The festival is welcoming a new producer. Ashley Melzer is joining the staff as Associate Producer - Programming. Born in North Florida, Ashley Melzer is a freelance media professional with bachelor's degree in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California and master's in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been a credited author, photographer, producer and editor of print, film and digital media. Ashley spent the last three years on staff organizing the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh. As Talent Coordinator, Ashley was principal liaison for 150+ acts each year. She is also an improviser who performs regularly with DSI Comedy Theater.
"I feel we have a serious responsibility to increase and promote diversity; both with what we present on stage and what audiences we draw," said Melzer. "Comedy is often about boundaries and characters that break them. If we're living up to our own rules of play, we should be working harder to foster relationships in our community beyond the stage door. What our festival already does really well is give comedians the space to make genuine connections with each other and to deliver great performances. I've witnessed so many truly impactful moments on stage and I'm thrilled for an opportunity to help produce the next batch of them."
The festival staff also includes Executive Producer Zach Ward; Paula Pazderka, Associate Producer -- Education; and Technical Director Kit Fitzsimmons.
"I am very excited about all the changes for NCCAF this year. With Ashley Melzer joining the team as Associate Producer, additional staff, new community partnerships and even more local venues over what will be a condensed 10-day event, the 2014 festival will be an even richer experience for our comedians and our audiences," explains Executive Producer Zach Ward. "Artists will have the chance to network with more professionals in the field and showcase different comedic work while visiting North Carolina, and comedy fans will have an opportunity to see the best talent in the country perform standup, sketch and improv comedy."