Wendy Penrod | Breakout Session
"The future is female and funny as hell"
About this session: The world of comedy has always been a tough road for women. Just how tough it has been, with the pervasive culture of sexual assault and harassment, is finally coming to light. For far too long comedy has been dominated by men on and off stage. Why is there a feeling that men are funnier, more capable, and better fit to run comedic theatres? How do we claim our rightful spot in the comedic spotlight? How do we become the purveyors of how our daughters are viewed in humor? How do we make comedy a place that is safe for women worldwide? The answer: we need brave, strong, fiercely funny women to take the reins. It’s time for women to become leaders and pave the way for a safer, more hilarious future for women in comedy. Only through examining women’s roles in comedy throughout history can we better understand what needs must be met in the future. We need to empower women to embrace their funny side like never before, overcome the current challenges head on, and usher in a new era of female leadership in comedy.
Wendy Penrod is a founder, Artistic Director, and Managing director of Off the Cuff Comedy Improvisation in Cedar City, Utah. OTC Comedy, as it is fondly known, celebrated fourteen years this past January. Wendy is also a member of the improv troupes Pawn Takes Queen and Tapestry. She has performed in improv festivals all over the world. She has been studying and performing improvisational theatre for over 18 years, and has learned from some of the greatest teachers the art form has to offer. Wendy co-founded both the Red Rocks Improv Festival and the high school Ye Olde Improv Competition. She is currently one of OTC Comedy’s instructors and had taught improv to people of all ages for 10 years. Wendy studied at Southern Utah University in the BFA Classical Acting program. In addition to the theatre, Wendy currently works for the Juvenile Justice Services in the state of Utah, and has for over ten years. She has worked in Early Intervention, Detention, Secure Care, and most recently a School Based Outreach program. She loves working with youth in her community, and finds great joy in her job. She is very excited and honored to be presenting at this year's conference.