Chicago Women's Funny Festival Sets 2015 Lineup, Featuring SNL Writer Katie Rich
Stage 773 Director of Operations Jill Valentine and co-producer Liz McArthur are thrilled to announce the highly anticipated lineup for the 4th Annual Chicago Women's Funny Festival taking place June 18 through June 21 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont. The Chicago Women's Funny Festival will feature all forms of comedy including stand up, sketch, solo, vaudeville, improvisational, and musical with comediennes from across the globe. The event packs 83 shows, featuring over 500 performers in 161 groups into four funny-filled days. The full schedule for the 4th Annual Chicago Women's Funny Festival can be viewed at www.chicagowomensfunnyfestival.com.
"We are extremely excited about the level of talent for this year's festival," said Valentine. "We have women from all over the country and Canada coming to Chicago to be a part of this huge celebration of women in comedy."
Combining both fresh and familiar faces in female comedy, highlights for 2015 include the return of SNL writer Katie Rich; Stand up performer Tamale Rocks (of fame most recently for exposing a Chicago bar's two-way-mirror scheme); Chicago Sketchfest veteran groups Off Off Broadzway, The Cupid Players, Feminine Gentlemen; Improv veterans Susan Messing and Rachel Mason in The Boys; Stand Up comedian drawing from her unique perspectives as a wheelchair user Shannon DeVido; transgender comic and writer Dina Martinez; Stand Up comedian and Breast Cancer Survivor Kyna Lenhof; solo performer, seen on Comedy Central, Kellye Howard, and much more talent from around the world and nationwide.
On Saturday, June 20th at 6 PM, comedian and WGN Radio host Patti Vasquez will be the featured performer and host of Smorgasbord. This a one-of-a kind fundraiser event presents a line-up of five diverse acts at the festival and is presented by the Stage 773 Board of Directors. Patrons of Smorgasbord will be the granted the exclusive opportunity to purchase Saturday festival passes, which are otherwise unavailable for that evening.
Chicago Women's Funny Festival was founded in 2012 when producers Jill Valentine and Liz McArthur wanted to build a comedy festival where women could come together and celebrate all forms of comedy under one roof. The first festival boasted 66 shows and 400 performers in five days. Women's Fest also hosted events throughout the week where women from across the country could come together, network and more importantly, see each other's work. The response from comedians and audience members was overwhelmingly positive - which is why the festival is coming back for a fourth year. The 2015 festival is bigger - putting all four of Stage 773's theaters to use each night of the festival.
Jill Valentine is a Chicago southside native that has been the Executive Director of the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival since the festival's inception in 2000. She is also Stage 773's Director of Operations and a founding principal of the building. Jill also performs in several popular and critically acclaimed groups in Chicago, including The Cupid Players, Off Off Broadzway and Feminine Gentleman who have performed all over the country. She is also a board member of Cowardly Scarecrow productions and plays the role of Barbra in their hit zombie comedy Musical of the Living Dead.
Liz McArthur hails from St. Louis and has worked with The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival since 2005. McArthur can be seen with groups such as Off Off Broadzway, OneTwoThree Comedy, and Feminine Gentlemen. McArthur is also part of the hit zombie comedy Musical of the Living Dead.
All performances will take place at Chicago's home for the city's most innovative, creative and passionate off-Loop performing artists, Stage 773, located at 1225 W. Belmont. Stage 773 is a non-profit Chicago company that produces The Cupid Players, Bri-Ko, The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, education and program opportunities, as well as offering subsidized theater rental space to the hundreds of Chicago's itinerant off-Loop companies and performers.
The 4th Annual Chicago Women's Funny Festival runs June 18 - June 21, 2015. Performances are Thursday, June 18th at 8 - 10 p.m., Friday, June 19th at 8 - 11 p.m., Saturday, June 20th at 5 - 11 p.m., and Sunday, June 21st at 2 - 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 and Thursday, Friday and Sunday Festival passes and for the aforementioned fundraising event may be purchased at www.Stage773.com, by phone at 773.327.5252, and in person at the Stage 773 box office.