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Women of Jewish Comedy

Women of Jewish Comedy

Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

$18 | $10 for Spertus members | $8 for students and Spertus alumni

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From Fanny Brice to Joan Rivers to Sarah Silverman, and from the Borscht Belt to Broad City, Jewish women comedians have had a special impact on the shape of American humor. Comedy scholars Anne Libera and Grace Kessler Overbeke take us behind the scenes of this funny, genre-spanning, rule-stretching history — and provide a glimpse of what is coming next.  

Anne LiberaAnne Libera is Director of Comedy Studies at The Second City. Her directing credits include Second City main-stage and touring productions, as well as Stephen Colbert’s one-man show Describing a Circle at Live Bait. Libera teaches in the Theater Department at Columbia College Chicago and has presented at venues from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is the author of The Second City Almanac of Improvisation.

Grace OverbekeGrace Kessler Overbeke is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University’s acclaimed interdisciplinary program in theater and drama, where her dissertation is focused on Jean Carroll, the first Jewish female standup comedian. A practicing dramaturg, Overbeke has taught for Northwestern’s Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies and the Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning. 


At left: Rachel Brosnahan as Midge in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Image row, left to right: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer in Broad City, Sarah Silverman in 2017, Joan Rivers in 1950.


This is the 2018 Alex and Klara Tulsky Presentation on the Jewish Future.