In the tumultuous political climate that our country faces, in efforts to take their stands, many progressive organizations fight on various battlegrounds. The Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah is doing just that, utilizing one of the greatest means of social commentary today — stand-up comedy. In coordination with Arts Access and KRCL Radio, the Action Council is presenting “One Night Stand: An Evening of Comedy” as a way to raise funds and raise awareness about their mission.
“At Planned Parenthood, we would like stand-up comedy to be a tool for social change,” said Heather Stringfellow, Vice President of Public Policy. “Stand-up, in particular, creates a rich opportunity to build a sense of community and space for cultural critique and storytelling.”
As a progressive organization, Planned Parenthood addresses important, albeit polarizing issues that are usually considered taboo in Utah’s conservative environment. However, their “One Night Stand” comedy event is specifically designed to be an all-embracing and far-reaching event, where laughter can open the doors to productive conversation.
Putting on an event of this nature while being inclusive of all those in the audience is not so simple, as the Action Council recently discovered. This past June, the Action Council hosted their first comedy fundraiser entitled “Liberty, Laughs, and Libations.” This comedy show was geared towards sharing “some lightness during a politically dark time,” as Stringfellow explained it. While the organization considered their first fundraiser a success, they received criticism regarding unmet expectations in the experiences of their deaf and hard-of-hearing guests.
The Action Council is presenting a do-over from their previous show. To close out the summer, this second comedy event is a smaller-scale, more intimate event where the focus is on the inclusivity of their guests. “One Night Stand” was curated by a committee of community members, local comedians, Planned Parenthood volunteers and representatives of the organization, all devoted “to hosting inclusive events that bring us together as allies in this intersectional movement.”
The Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah is allied with both Arts Access and KRCL Radio. The missions of both of these organizations are to cultivate a diverse arts community through their engagements and programming. With this mission in mind, One Night Stand will be hosted by Danielle Susi and feature many local comedians, including Meredith Hicks, Tanner Nicholson, Mike Grover, Indie Blanco, Amerah A. Ames and Natashia Mower.
“One Night Stand” will be at the Sugar Space Arts Warehouse on Sept. 20. A pre-event with food trucks and a cash bar starts at 7 p.m. and the featured comedy event starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah’s Facebook page or on their website.