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Durham Resident Wins Carolina's Funniest Comic at 2016 NC Comedy Arts Festival

Chapel Hill, NC -- The 16th Annual North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival closed last night at its home base of DSI Comedy Theater, 462 W. Franklin Street to name the 2016 Carolina's Funniest Comic. Now in partnership for the third year with Alchemy Comedy Theatre, in Greenville, South Carolina. Four comedians, two finalists from North Carolina and two finalists from South Carolina took the stage for a final showdown, after performing throughout the last month competing for $1500 in cash and prizes.

Durham resident Lauren Faber, a regular at DSI Comedy Theater was the ninth comedian named Carolina's Funniest Comic. She won the title and $1000. By day, Faber works for an Economist at a local university. She has emceed for Gilbert Godfrey, opened for Joe Zimmerman, and appeared with Maria Bamford on WUNC's the State of Things. She is a member of DSI's Standup Corps and co-produces DSI's showcase for female comedians, Ladies' Night.

The winners were chosen 100% by audience votes. North Carolina's Andrew Aghapour finished second. South Carolina's Licita Cromer finished third and South Carolina's Shelton Love finished fourth.

"It has been great to see Lauren develop and start to find her voice as a comic over the last year." explains DSI Comedy Artistic Director and festival Executive Producer Zach Ward. "Last year, in an interview with Maria Bamford, Lauren was introduced as a Carolina's Funniest contest finalist. She was not, but it felt right. This year she took every round and knocked it out of the park in the finals. The last few years closing NCCAF in celebration of the best comics in North and South Carolina has quickly become tradition."

In 2001, Dirty South Improv (DSI) produced the first North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival to give audiences and students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill the chance to experience workshops in the art of Chicago-style improvisation. Now, 16 years later the festival has rapidly become one of the largest comedy festivals in the nation. As it continues to grow, the festival now features talent that has been seen on the small screen on Saturday Night Live, MTV, Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central, and on stages at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and Second City. The NCCAF has increased the population of Carrboro by 4% during its annual run. As the festival grew, DSI presented professional performances in Chicago and New York and created a college touring company. In 2005, the festival saw the opening of the DSI Comedy Theater, an 80-seat venue in North Carolina and the new home for shows and the DSI Comedy School. In 2015, the festival celebrated its 15th Anniversary with the opening of its new home on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. The festival has attracted high level instructors and performers in improv, sketch and stand-up comedy including: Maria Bamford, Jimmie "JJ" Walker, M.C. Chris, Mike Birgbiglia, April Richardson, Steven Wright, Louis CK, Eddie Brill, Kevin Allison, Kevin MacDonald, Sasheer Zamata, Emo Philips, and Bruce Vilanch. >From the DSI Comedy School and DSI Comedy Theater in Carrboro, NC to its productions in Chicago, and professional Touring Company, the Dirty South name has spread around the country, drawing both participants and quality teaching staff to its annual comedy festival year after year.


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