NYWIFT and Caroline’s on Broadway have teamed up to create Women in Comedy - Changing Times as part of the New York Comedy Festival, a panel exploring the changing landscape of comedy for women from the 1960’s to the present.
Our guests include top movie and television talent. All of these women have had a major impact on the world of comedy and they'll share their journeys as performers, writers and producers - from behind the scenes to the front lines. With this array of hilarious, extraordinary women, it's sure to be a remarkable evening!
Whitney Cummings is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actor, writer and producer. Cummings co-created and co-wrote, along with Michael Patrick King, the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, which will return this Fall for a 3rd season. She also wrote, produced and starred in her autobiographical sitcom, Whitney, which aired on NBC for two seasons, between September 2011 and April 2013. Cummings appears regularly on E!’s Chelsea Lately and has appeared on Comedy Central’s Roast series. Her one-hour stand up special, Money Shot, premiered on Comedy Central in August 2010 and was nominated for an American Comedy Award later that year.
Samantha Bee was born and raised in Toronto and understands that, yes, it’s very clean there. Having no appreciable skill set or professional aspirations, she turned to acting and found it compatible with her lazy lifestyle. She began her career by doing numerous commercial campaigns, many of which involved humiliating costumes and annoying catchphrases that people still like to remind her about, with a smirk. When Samantha joined the all-female sketch troupe The Atomic Fireballs, her professional life took a turn for the better. In 2003, she joined the cast of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and now holds the title of Most Senior Correspondent, having systematically eliminated all those before her. Bee can be seen opposite her husband, Jason Jones, in the film Cooper’s Christmas, and in the upcoming feature Learning To Drive, opposite Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson. Bee was one of the original cast members in Nora & Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore, and her first book I Know I Am But What Are You was released in paperback by Simon & Schuster in 2011. She is a frequent contributor for The Wall Street Journal, and her blog Eating Over The Sink with Samantha Bee and Allana Harkin can be seen on babble.com.
Fran Drescher has earned a reputation for bringing passion to all her endeavors. She received two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of "Miss Fine" on the CBS series The Nanny, a show she created and executive produced. Her books, Enter Whining and Cancer Schmancer, were New York Times best sellers. A 12 -year uterine cancer survivor, Drescher is the Founder, President & Visionary of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization that is transforming patients into medical consumers, focusing on prevention and early detection. Her Fran Vans Program provides low income, uninsured or under-insured women free mammograms. She was instrumental in the passage of “The Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act” in 2007. She is the recipient of the John Wayne Institute Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, City of Hope Woman of the Year Award, The Albert Einstein Medical School Lifetime Achievement Award and many more. The Washingtonian named her one of the most effective celebrity lobbyists on Capitol Hill. She is a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health for the U.S. State Department and has met with others fighting cancer worldwide. Drescher was honored at the Knesset in Israel for being the first Jewish actress who played an openly Jewish character embraced by not only Israel, but by many Arab nations throughout the Middle East.
Delia Ephron is a bestselling author and screenwriter. Her movies include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, You’ve Got Mail, Hanging Up (based on her novel) and Michael. She has written novels for adults and teenagers, her most recent being The Lion Is In; books of humor, among them How to Eat Like a Child; and essays. Her journalism has appeared regularly in The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, More and The Huffington Post. Ephron’s hit play Love, Loss, and What I Wore (co-written with Nora Ephron) ran for more than two years off-Broadway and has been performed in Paris, Rio, Sydney and elsewhere around the world. Her most recent book, Sister, Mother, Husband, Dog, was released in September 2013.
Moderator Alessandra Stanley was named chief television critic for The New York Times in 2003. Before that, she was a foreign correspondent for the newspaper, serving as Rome bureau chief (1998-2001) and co-chief of the Moscow bureau (1994-1998). She has also covered national politics and metropolitan news for the Times. Stanley has served as a writer and correspondent for Time, working in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, and finally, Washington, D.C., covering The White House and presidential campaigns. While at Time, she reported from Central America, Afghanistan, Asia and Africa. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, GQ and Vogue. Born in Boston, Stanley grew up in Washington, D.C. and Europe, and studied literature at Harvard University.
Produced by Susan Ades and Terry Greenberg
Special thanks to Caroline Hirsch
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events
are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of
Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York
State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and
the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Oct. 20, 2014