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September 21, 2023

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All-female improv group Lady Parts to raise money for SAAFE Center

From an event two years ago emerged two entities — Lady Parts, an all-female improv team, and the Women in Comedy show, an annual fundraiser for the Sexual Assault Awareness for Empowerment [SAAFE] Center.

On Nov. 23, Lady Parts will host the third Women in Comedy show, along with a bake sale and raffle.

This year’s show will include short-form and long-form improv by Lady Parts, comedic songs, slam poetry, stand-up and a sketch team, said Paige Driscoll, a co-director of the show.

All performers will be women, some are from Lady Parts and others auditioned.

Some men expressed interest in writing and submitting sketches, but their sketches can’t be included, said co-director Hannah McDonald.

That isn’t about excluding men, but about highlighting women, Driscoll said.

“Women are extremely underrepresented in the comedy world. … It’s very male-dominated and I don’t think people realize that,” McDonald said. “I think everybody is kind of content with like, ‘Oh, everything’s equal’ but that’s not the case. Like when Bridesmaids came out it was praised for being such a funny female comedy, not just a comedy.”

In addition to being underrepresented, women face the stereotype that they’re not funny or not as funny as men, Driscoll said.

“[That’s something] we like to very clearly combat,” Driscoll said.

However, there will be male ushers and bake sale attendants at the show.

In addition to raising money for the SAAFE Center, the show raises awareness about the center and its services.

“I didn’t even know about the SAAFE Center until the first show and so that introduced me to it,” McDonald said.

Before the show, Dan Galek, a prevention specialist and victim advocate at the SAAFE CENTER, will speak about primary prevention and engaging men in a solution.

“Prevention can only be done by perpetrators,” and the majority of perpetrators are male, said Julie Broadwell, director of the SAAFE Center.

Prevention is often thought of as steps taken by women, Broadwell said, but that’s not where the responsibility should be placed.

“We want men to stand up and take this conversation on themselves,” Broadwell said.

Money raised at this show will go into the Victims Emergency Fund, Broadwell said. The fund is a “critical financial resource” that provides cash for various needs victims may have. For example, a victim whose bedsheets were taken as evidence used fund money to purchase new sheets.

The show is Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. in Olscamp 101. Admission is by donation, with a $5 minimum.

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