By Taneen Momeni
Two UMD students have created The Hysterics, a new space for female-identifying comedians to practice stand-up sets and write sketches, in order to promote women in comedy around campus.
Co-founders Ambi Narula and Jordan Resnick decided to start The Hysterics after seeing how male-dominated other comedy organizations were, like the Open Mic Night at MilkBoy ArtHouse and Maryland Night Live, according to Narula.
“We wanted a space where female comedians can be themselves—a space for women,” senior Narula said.
Rachel Niswander, a sophomore engineering major, auditioned for The Hysterics on Monday.
“I think this group will help other female comedians and performers build up the confidence to perform on stage,” Niswander said. “The group of people I auditioned with already seemed very supportive and eager to work together!”
The group plans to start by only working on stand-up sets, then progressing to sketch comedy and improvisation by next semester.
According to Narula, other comedy groups, such as Erasable Inc., The Bureau, and Sketchup, have been very supportive of this duo. Many people have shown interest in the club and have voiced their support of an all-female comedy group.
Narula believes that a joint show with the other groups could help promote the club, but that isn’t her main concern.
“Producing our content is the way to go [to reach more students]. We want quality over quantity,” Narula said.
Although the roles of the sponsors have not been decided, professional comedians Nikki Glaser and Lisa Best have been very supportive of the new club. Glaser has already offered an opportunity for members of The Hysterics to open for her show in Washington.
“I think the group having professional female comedians as sponsors is very exciting!” Niswander said. “I hope they can be active in giving us advice and opportunities that they wish they would have had starting as a new comedian.”
While The Hysterics provides a space for women to practice their comedy, it also fosters an environment for students who identify as females to be around other women and grow their confidence.
“As an engineering student, I am usually one of the few girls in my classes, so a group like The Hysterics that features only women is a very exciting change of pace for me,” Niswander said.
Narula believes that women are extremely funny, and having a club just for women comedians is an example of that.
“I want to leave UMD knowing I built this and that it’s going to keep building,” Narula said.
Featured Photo Credit: The Hysterics held auditions on Monday. (Ambi Narula)
Taneen Momeni is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A previous version of this article did not attribute the quote about Ambi Narula and Jordan Resnick deciding to start The Hysterics after seeing how male-dominated other comedy organizations were to Narula. This has been corrected.