Tiny Funny Women Fest 2013 took place at HUGE Theater in Minneapolis, Minn., on Jan. 5-6, 2013.

Day One

The festival kicked off with a potluck brunch.

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Improvisers Mike Fotis, James Rone and Hannah Kuhlman joined  facilitator Joanna Solotaroff in the Unteaching Sexual Violence in Improv panel. Hannah brought an extensive background in sex education, gender studies and cultural studies. Mike discussed the ways he constructs a safe environment in his classroom. James discussed performance theory and trauma and ways to empower both performers and improvisors.

Participants had an option of attending two workshops:

Ninety Nine Problems

Hannah Kuhlmann created a workshop to help female-identified improvisers manage gender dynamics on and off stage. When somebody drops a misogyny bomb on your improv set, do you know how to handle it? Can you continue to perform while protecting your personal boundaries? Are you able to make your voice heard? If the answer is no, then it’s time to change things. Using a mixture of cultural theory and improv exercises, we’ll explore the ways in which gender stereotypes and sexism can creep into improv performances and the green room. You’ll leave with new skills and practical techniques for creating the space you need to perform joyful, compassionate, funny improv.

If It Makes You Happy

Too often improv feels like a chore, filled with right decisions and good and bad choices. In this session with Jill Bernard, participants learned the joy and success that follows doing exactly what tickles them.

Day Two

Host Sarah Brown, a breast cancer survivor and local improvisational artist, was joined by Erin Sheppard, Jeff Kaisershot, Sara Burgess, and Kate Kunkle Bailey for the Coping with Comedy: How to Get Through the Toughest Times with Laughter panel. They discussed how laughter is truly some of the best medicine by sharing their stories, philosophies, and research.

Workshops on the second day of the festival included Hannah Kuhlmann’s Ninety-Nine Problems and Closed Circuit Communication taught by Lauren Anderson

Closed Circuit Communication

Do you find yourself in scenes that seem to stall out? Do you wish you could make more honest and powerful offers that propel scenes forward? By focusing on making emotional connections, this workshop will gave students the tools to create characters and scenes with greater interest and texture.

The festival concluded with a TFWF Showcase featuring some of the best all-female improv groups in the Twin Cities including Ladyfriend, Shortcakes, The Minneapples, Show X Chromosome, Her Name is Armando and a TFWF 2013 jam.

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Throughout the festival participants were asked to share what they were watching, listening to and reading. Here are their answers:

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