About WICF | Women in Comedy Festival

About Us

Audiences are hungry to experience and celebrate comedy from different perspectives, and that is where WICF comes in. Our goal is to help close the gender gap in comedy by showcasing women and their allies across all comedic platforms. All of our offerings are open to people of all genders.

WICF features diverse performers, and brings together individuals from all walks of comedy, giving comedy audiences a chance to see work from both local and nationally known comedians, and enabling industry a chance to scout terrific talent.

Events All Year Long
WICF produces events all year, including Boston Comedy Chicks ‘s  monthly stand-up showcase and monthly stand-up comedy workshops September through May.

Our humor and comedy news site, WICF Daily, publishes all year long, and our growing podcast network features a diverse slate of podcasts with a comedic bent.

WICF also collaborates with several other organizations to present special events, workshops, and shows, including

To stay up-to-date on all WICF news, announcements, and special deals, sign up for our newsletter (the the top or bottom of this page) and stay in the know.

WICF 2020
The 11th annual Women in Comedy will again by presented by HBO and held May 7th-10th, 2020, all over greater Boston. Venues will include Le Chevalier, The Wilbur, ImprovBoston, The Comedy Studio, and many more.

Our first 2020 headliner, Whitney Cummings, will perform at the Wilbur on Saturday, May 9th. Tickets are on sale now. Additional headliners will be announced soon. Our live show submissions are open through January 15th, and we are accepting live show submissions in the categories of improv, stand up, sketch, and musical comedy here. Our film and screenplay submissions are also open at Filmfreeway.com. This year’s film festival, to be held Saturday, May 9th, as part of WICF 2020, features four individual contests, with cash prizes and mentorships from HBO, Feigco and Powderkeg, Jill and Faith Soloway (Amazon Prime’s Transparent), and an animated short competition with M. Dickson (co-executive producer of Netflix’s “Disenchantment” and Netflix’s upcoming “Hoops”).

WICF 2019
The 10th Women in Comedy Festival, presented by HBO, was held May 2-5, 2019 all over Boston. Headlining comedians included Emma Willmann,The Bechdel Cast, Chanel Ali, Phoebe Robinson, Mary Dolan, Jenny Zigrino, Guys We F**ked, Helen Hong, Nikki Glaser, Liza Treyger, Wild Horses Improv, and Christine Hurley.

WICF held two individual film competitions, with cash prizes in addition to mentorships from executives and creatives from NBC and Showtime.

WICF 2018
Sponsored by HBO, The 9th Annual Women in Comedy Festival ran from Thursday, April 19th through Sunday, April 22rd, in Boston and Cambridge, MA. The festival included acclaimed stand-up comedians, improv and sketch groups, musical comedy groups and solo artists, filmmakers, and storyteller and featured shows in a variety of venues ranging from an intimate 40-seat cabaret space to a historic 1200-seat theater.

Our 2018 film festival was held during WICF on Saturday, April 21st, and includes two separate contests. Winners of both competitions received $1,000 and a mentoring call with either Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) or Ada Chiangana (Director of Comedy Programming at HBO). Check out our winners and official selections on our film page.

As part of our festival we host panel discussions to increase dialogue among comedians and provide vital information about the creative and business side of comedy. Most of our panels will be open and free to the public. During Women in Comedy Festival we also provide workshops with award winning working comedians and bookers that are available to the public.

Michelle Barbera and Maria Ciampa created the Women in Comedy Festival in 2009, and co-producer Elyse Schuerman came onboard the very next year. The three co-producers have been working together in the Boston comedy scene for almost a decade in various improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy shows. In 2012, we welcomed Michelle McNulty and Dave Sawyer as Associate Producers. We welcomed Christine Cannavo and Valerie Hirschon Frank as associate producers in 2015. Check out full staff page here.

The Women in Comedy Festival is open to comedians of all genders, but showcases women prominently. Past headlining performers and speakers have included Maria Bamford, Jane Lynch, Wendy Liebman, Rachel Dratch, Kristen Schaal, Jen Kirkman, Morgan Murphy, Horatio Sanz, Kevin Allison, Ilana Glazer, Sasheer Zamata, Rita Rudner, Jackie Kashian, and Kelly MacFarland. WICF 2018 will take place in late April.

This year is set to be our biggest and best yet! As mentioned above, we have expanded our offerings and now produce comedy shows and content throughout the entire year. Click here for more information about all our offerings.

2018 headliner Wanda Sykes (Black-ish) receives the 2018 Award for Excellence after her sold-out WICF show at the 1,800-seat Le Chevalier Theatre.

Julie Klausner (Difficult People) interviews 2015 Award for Excellence recipient Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

New England’s home-grown comedian Emma Willmann performs at WICF 2018. Emma recently became a series regular on the Emmy Award-winning CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.