Mass Hysteria Festival Returns to Spotlight Funny Women

Thu 9/19-Sat 9/21

The Mass Hysteria Comedy Fest is back for a second year, with a weekend of improv and sketch comedy, storytelling and workshops, featuring local performers along with headliners from Pittsburgh and Chicago.

The festival was created by Clevelanders Deena Nyer Mendlowitz & Sam Dee, who wanted to focus on female-produced shows and improv groups, swimming against that tide of the usual seven-member group featuring five guys and two women. It debuted last year to packed houses.

The fun starts on Thu 9/19 @ 8pm with Casually Late Stampede and Common Room Theatre facing off in the Improv Death Match, followed by a open jam.

On Fri 9/20, the evening starts at 7:30 with This Improvised Life/Story Club Cleveland’s Mash-Up Show. Then at 9:15 Pittsburgh all-female sketch trio Frankly Scarlett takes over, with Cleveland’s Hopscotch Improv opening.

Sat 9/21 kicks off at 7:30 with Mental Illness and Friends!, a live comedy talk show hosted by Mendlowitz that aims to destigmatize mental illness in an entertaining way. She’s have some special guests and there’ll be improv be Delicious Ambiguity.

Then at 9:15, former Second City emsemble member Susan Messing’s Messing with a Friend!, which has played at Chicago’s Annoyance Theatre, which she co-founded since 2006, tops off the festival. Fellow Second City veteran Dana Quercioli takes the role of the “Friend!” in this performance.

Festival passes are just $60. For passes, individual show tickets and workshops go to masshysteriafest. All events take place at Mahall’s in Lakewood.


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