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

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

The Word

Kelly Osbourne and Paris Hilton fight over a…

Paris Hilton and Kelly Osbourne, both members of famous families and natives of the reality boom of the early aughts, should be great friends. And yet.

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.