ANN ARBOR – The women in Washtenaw County are funny. On Wednesday Aug. 22, Pointless Brewery will prove this by hosting the HERsay IV comedy event. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., volunteer performers from the local area will sing, tell stories and perform improv along the theme of “on the move.”
HERsay is the brainchild of Patti Smith, a teacher and public speaker. However, Smith isn’t the only “parent” of the HERsay project and is helped by Callie McKee who (jokingly) claims to have pressured Smith into letting her help with the first event and has been onboard ever since.
Smith said the idea came to her when she was sitting on the couch. A big fan of Pointless Brewery, she messaged Tori Tomalia, co-founder and managing director of Pointless.
“On a lark, I emailed Tori and was like, "Hi you never met me, only know me from Twitter [the two have exchanged tweets on social media], but could I put on a show at your place?" I figured she would think I was crazy; imagine MY surprise when she responded right away and was totally into the idea! We were emailing back and forth and at the same time wrote, 'It should be all women.' BOOM! There it was.”
(Performer Nina Brennan by Anne Savage Photography via Eclectablog)
We asked Smith about the history of HERsay and why it’s important for there to be a specific comedy event entirely composed of and by women.
“The idea for HERsay is to get women out on stage--especially women who have not previously done so. Our first show was scheduled two days after the 2016 election (I had to rewrite my entire opening monologue) and was described as the perfect antidote to all that happened. We had women reading from their teenage diaries, visual artists showing their work, experienced performance artists, award-winning storytellers! The show went three hours and I don't think anyone left. We raised about $800 for Planned Parenthood. The second one likewise raised about that much for PP [Planned Parenthood]. Our third event raised about $700 for Ozone House.”
(Performer Sandy Ryder by Anne Savage Photography via Eclectablog)
“Women need to be heard and we need places to share our voices. The audiences are incredible--very supportive and generous. The venue can't be beat--great beer, friendly staff.”
Tickets are $15 and some of the money made from ticket sales will go to the Corner Health Center, a Ypsilanti clinic which provides clinical help for young people in the community.
HERsay events are re-occurring at Pointless Brewery and the past three shows have sold-out. A fifth show is scheduled for November 7th.
Find more details and buy tickets on the event page here.