The Rapidian

Lass Laugh Comedy Festival makes its debut this month

Kristin Hirsch thought up the idea of Lass Laugh, and Amy Gascon believed in this vision and wanted to help bring it to light. The community for Lass Laugh started building long before opening night.
Amy Gascon (left) and Kristin Hirsch (right)

Amy Gascon (left) and Kristin Hirsch (right)

Find tickets and schedule here:

Lass Laugh Comedy Festival

Amy blowing in Kristin's eye during a performance

Amy blowing in Kristin's eye during a performance

Line up of events. Make sure to check out the workshops as well!

Line up of events. Make sure to check out the workshops as well!

Lass Laugh Comedy Festival is coming to Dog Story Theater this May. Organized by Kristin Hirsch and Amy Gascon, Lass Laugh is a women's comedy festival making its debut with a full weekend to kick off the talents of women in comedy. A fantastic lineup of female comedians from all over the Midwest will be performing Friday and Saturday nights, with workshops and special events throughout the weekend.

Kristin Hirsch thought up the idea of Lass Laugh, and Amy Gascon believed in this vision and wanted to help bring it to light. Both members of the Grand Rapids based collective, Funny Girls, Amy and Kristin had their own unique paths that led them to love comedy.

Kristin got her start at ComedySportz in San Jose, California. This is when Kristin fell in love with improv. When she moved back to Grand Rapids in 2015, Kristin joined the troupe No Outlet Improv as well as Funny Girls. Kristin has been the director of the Grand Rapids Improv Festival for the past two years. “This has been both challenging and extremely rewarding. I knew that a festival focusing on celebrating female comedians would be a great addition to the growing Grand Rapids comedy scene.”

Amy Gascon has been training and performing in Grand Rapids and Chicago for several years. She started doing open mics in the beginning, because she found this to be the easiest way to get stage time. Amy now focuses only on improv and sketch comedy. Amy teaches at the Civic Theatre. She is also a part of the group opening a new comedy and training center in Grand Rapids called The Comedy Project.

Both of these ladies believe in the power of community. Kristin is excited that is festival will connect comedians and performers to our community. “Comedy is a way for stories to be told and people to voice their experiences in a way that others can relate to. The female experience is a voice that is underrepresented in comedy and it’s great to be able to help give women a platform to come from all over Michigan and beyond to share these experiences through showcasing their comedy talents.” The two of them used GoFundMe to fund this festival, and they reached their goal in less than 24 hours. Amy said how it is awesome to see how many people in our community shared our vision of supporting women in comedy by supporting the festival. “The community for Lass Laugh started building long before opening night.”

They are working towards creating a community within the performers. They have created lineups that include local favorites and out of town performers so they can grow our comedy networks. In addition to this, there is an offering of the Shortform Showdown for Saturday night. This was designed so that individual improvisers could still participate in the festival without needing a troupe.

With it being this festivals inaugural year, they are hoping that the community coming to support will leave with an understanding of why this festival is so important. “I would love for Lass Laugh to be a yearly event that people look forward to, and that always celebrates both the incredible female comedians we have right here in Grand Rapids as well as eventually more nationwide talent,” Kristin shares.

Amy's hope is that Lass Laugh Comedy Festival “introduces audiences to new performers and new comedy styles that they weren’t familiar with before. I hope our audiences go on to support these women’s comedy careers by attending their shows and booking them for events throughout the rest of the year.”

You can find a full schedule and tickets at www.lasslaugh.com.

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