Women are funny, from age 7 to 70

The 1812 Productions team takes a look at being funny.  Credit: John Flak
The 1812 Productions team takes a look at being funny.
Credit: John Flak

The same year that Jennifer Childs’ daughter celebrated her seventh birthday, her mother turned 70. Spending time with two of them, Childs noticed that both made her laugh, only in entirely different ways.

“My mom is funnier at 70 than she ever was in her whole life,” says Childs. “Mostly because she owns herself now and cares less what people think, so she has the freedom to say what she feels and be who she is. In the meantime, my daughter was trying to figure out how she’s funny, what makes people laugh and what makes people go, ‘OK, settle down.’ I was watching her imitate other people’s humor in an attempt to find her own.”

With those polar opposites in mind, Childs began noticing how the humor she shared with her own female friends was changing as they moved into their mid-40s and early 50s. “All of a sudden we’re Bette Davis in ‘All About Eve’ — where did that come from? Women are very transformative creatures, and I became fascinated with the question of whether our humor transforms and ages as we do.”

So Childs, the artistic director of Philly’s all-comedy theater company 1812 Productions, began exploring that question with a wide variety of women from diverse backgrounds, from journalists to individuals served by domestic abuse services and prison transition programs to Lucie Arnaz, daughter of perhaps the most famous comedienne of them all, Lucille Ball.

The result of the ensuing three years’ work is “It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project,” which will premiere at Plays & Players Theatre, 1812’s home base, beginning this weekend. The show’s three acts travel through the three ages of comedy that Childs discovered in her own family.

Visiting with community partners like Women Against Abuse, Transition Network and Why Not Prosper, Childs found herself mining comedy from very unfunny territory. “Most of the women who I talked to told me stories that were really difficult: angry, sad, tragic, violent stories,” she says. “But they told them with such incredible humor. We use humor to make our way through the world. I want to make you laugh, but the secret mission is I want to change your life.”

If you go

“It’s My Party: The Women and Comedy Project”
April 25-May 19 (Opening night May 1)
Plays & Players Theatre
1714 Delancey St.
$22-$38
215-592-9560
www.1812productions.org


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

THEATER The Wholehearted Thursday through April 27 Paramount Center 559 Washington St., Boston $25-$49, 617-824-8400 www.artsemerson.org This conceptually rich show from Stein | Holum Projects,…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley…

Bruins 2014 playoffs preview: Vegas odds say Stanley Cup will return to Boston

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

MLB

Injury bug tearing holes in Red Sox

Red Sox fans will recall that last year the bullpen was decimated by injuries. From Franklin Morales to Andrew Miller, from Craig Breslow to Andrew…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.