Men Need Not Apply: Women in Comedy Festival Celebrates Female Performers

Nancy Hayden

The Women in Comedy festival is happening right now and runs through this Sunday, June 3rd.

With a mix of performances, workshops and more happening at the Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck, the mission of the festival is to celebrate diverse perspectives and the female voices that are part of the comedy scene here in metro Detroit.

In the late 90s, Nancy Hayden helped found the improv troop at Planet Ant which still performs today. She will be featured at the festival this year.

Hayden speaks with WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper about the rise of improv and how opportunities for women in comedy are changing.

Hayden says when she was first starting out, most women were cast “for their looks” and “to play the wives…the secretaries and the nurses.”  

According to Hayden, there’s a long history of women not being represented in the comedy scene.

There’s literally always been, since the beginning of improv, double the men doing it,” she says.

Underrepresentation is still an issue. But Hayden thinks things are changing as women carve “out their own career paths.”

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 

Image credit: Nancy Hayden

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Host & Producer, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper has worked as an arts and culture journalist in Detroit for over a decade.

hooper@wdet.org   Follow @hoopingtonpost

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