Press Contact: Heather Bates
Her-larity WWU is a nonprofit Western Washington University Associated Students club that creates opportunities for women in comedy and on stage and in film though the perspective of social change. Her-larity WWU is concerned with representation of women in the entertainment industry and the roles they are allowed to play. Her-larity operates with a welcoming and open feel that is unapologetic. Members of Her-larity WWU want to involve students in exercises, learning opportunities and on-stage opportunities to grow their talents and confidence. Her-larity was formed in 2015 in response to a lack of adequate on-stage rolls being offered to female performers. In an entertainment industry where women are often left to play the supporting role of wife or mother, Her-larity strives to showcase female comics and their talents as headliners rather than supporting roles.
Her-larity meets every other Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm in Bond Hall 109. The club plans to hold at least one event each quarter beginning in spring of 2016. At the bi-weekly meetings, the club works from the Upright Citizens Brigade book in order to gain experience, knowledge and confidence while on stage. This book contains exercises meant for stage performers and helps club members come together as a group, learn and grow. While Her-larity does focus on female performers, all students of all gender identities are encouraged to join. There are no monetary fees to join the club.
The following research is intended to highlight the relevance of comedic education, representation and issues within the entertainment industry spanning from a local level to international.
Her-larity was started by Western student Summer Storholt in November of 2015.
Western Washington University Associated Students clubs have three comedy-related clubs. Two of these primarily feature male headliners which prompted the creation of Her-larity, the only club to focus on female feature artists.
In the six months spanning from September 2015 to March 2016, Western Washington University hired one female comic.
In Bellingham, Washington, Bellingham Comedy listed zero female comics booked versus four male comics in February, 2016.
Danielle Gregoire opened a women’s comedy club called the Comedy Womb in the basement of another club in Seattle after attending another local open mic that featured 33 guys and zero ladies.
The Nation’s top ten highest paid comics of 2013 shared $173 million. Zero were female.
On Wikipedia’s “List of Standup Comics in America”, 358 names listed, only 53 are female. That’s under 15 percent
3% of clout positions in the mainstream media – telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising- are held by women
Women currently hold 24, or 4.8 percent of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies.
In Saudi Arabia, women aren't allowed to drive and are discouraged from working jobs that would put them in contact with men. The unemployment rate for women is 34 percent for women, 7 percent for men.
In 2015, Women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings.
Summer Storholt is a senior at Western Washington University. She studies Theatre and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2016. She looks forward to working in improv and comedy while encouraging other women to do the same. She will hold elections to elect a new president which is the office Storholt currently holds and may add one additional office if the need arises.
firstname.lastname@example.org (253) 380-0276 https://twitter.com/herlaritywwu
Her-larity was founded in November of 2015 by Summer Storholt at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. This Associated Students Club, is dedicated to empowering women in comedy. Her-larity meets every other Wednesday from 4 - 6pm in Bond Hall 109. Anyone and everyone is welcomed to join regardless of gender identity. There is no fee to join or participate. Summer Storholt is the current President of the club. For more information visit https://twitter.com/herlaritywwu or send an email to email@example.com.
Makers Team, “21 Facts You Never Knew About International Gender Disparity”,
March 7th, 2015, http://www.makers.com/blog/21-facts-you-never-knew-about-international-gender-inequality
Heart of Leadership, Accessed February 7th, 2016, http://www.heartofleadership.org/statistics/
Will Humphries, “It’s Really No Joke”, Today’s Ozy, Last modified January 6th, 2014, http://www.ozy.com/acumen/stand-ups-gender-gap/4661
Cienna Madrid, “Laugh It Off; Seattle’s First Feminist Comedy Night”, The Stranger, June 12th, 2013, http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/laugh-it-off/Content?oid=17003334
Bellingham Herald Events Calendar, Accessed February 6th, 2016,
Associated Students Events Calandar, Accessed February 5th, 2016, http://www.as.wwu.edu/events/#
Sharp, Sarah. 2015. “Weekly Club Spotlight: Her-larity.” The AS Review. Accessed February 4th, 2016