Throughout May, there is no shortage of events to attend at the Women Galore festival. There are concerts, book readings, film screenings and guest speakers from various professions and walks of life.
For the last two years, these events have been at The Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff. Now in its third year, the Women Galore festival will have its comedy show Thursday at Dallas Comedy House in the form of the Ladies Night variety show. The Ladies Night show, hosted by comedians Katy Evans and Jade Smith, fits perfectly with the ideals of the Women Galore festival by introducing Dallas to female artists with unique and strong perspectives.
Evans isn’t taking a break after the comedy show is finished, either. She will teach a storytelling workshop alongside comedy house teacher Devon Kodzis, a new addition to the festival that further empowers budding storytellers with the skills to allow their voices to be heard.
Evans has performed stand-up for the festival in the past at Wild Detectives, but this is the first year the event will spotlight Ladies Night as a showcase for female comedians.
“Lauren Smart invited me to be part of the planning committee for Women Galore, and they’ve had stand-up on it in the past, so we’d talked about doing a standard show at Wild Detectives again,” Evans says. “I told her a little bit about the Ladies Night show, and they wanted to expand the reach beyond Wild Detectives, so it seemed like it made sense to have a co-produced show at DCH.”
The Ladies Night show brings together a variety of female performers using different forms of comedy, creating a showcase of local talent while sampling the many ways comedy can be interpreted. No two shows are the same, with a frenetic interchange of comedians, styles and pacing. For Thursday's show, Hannah Vaughan and Kelanna Spiller will do stand-up comedy, improv troupe Ladybird’s Johnson will provide unscripted entertainment, comedians Olivia Frasher and Kim Kline are acting in a sketch, and Sydney Plant will perform a storytelling segment.
The Women Galore festival and the Ladies Night show are kindred spirits, both relatively new to Dallas but gaining a strong momentum within the artistic community. Evans and co-host Smith have filled a void by hosting a female-driven show in a male-dominated industry.
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In the beginning, Ladies Night was every other month, but now the show sells out monthly at Dallas Comedy House. The growing audience for both the Women Galore festival and the Ladies Night shows provides proof that their messages are spreading.
Vaughan, a DFW comedian, has singled herself out as a comic to watch in her brief time performing and credits Ladies Night with helping her get started.
“It gave a space for female and female-identifying performers to perform that may not have gotten booked otherwise,” Vaughan says. “I know many improv troupes, stand-ups (myself included) and storytellers that started performing for paid crowds for the first time at Ladies Night. It’s positive, supportive and always hilarious.”
Ladies Night is at 8 p.m. Thursday at Dallas Comedy House.