Columbus Stand Up for Choice will use laughter to lighten up a serious subject Tuesday at Ace of Cups.
The quarterly comedy show is co-produced and co-hosted by local stand-up comedians Amber Falter and Pat Deering, who wanted to do what they love while raising money for an organization that supports a cause they believe in –– the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights League of Ohio (NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio).
The show will feature eight local stand-up comedians, including Jackie Shreves, Brian Tower Doney and Lisa Berry.
Since starting the shows about two years ago, the events have raised more than $10,000 for several Central Ohio organizations –– about $1,000 has been raised per show for groups such as NARAL, Planned Parenthood and Women Have Options, Deering said.
While abortion and reproductive health can be controversial conversation topics, Falter and Deering find that the medium of stand-up comedy is the perfect way to explore those topics.
“It’s something where everyone feels so silenced,” Falter said. “And I think there’s beauty in laughter that makes things that don’t feel OK seem OK.”
When booking comedians, Falter and Deering aim to find local and independent performers with some connection to reproductive rights. They find that the personal story element generates a strong emotional response.
“When I promote, I say I always cry on stage because someone’s performance is so open or Pat and I go up and talk about the current state of abortion access in Ohio,” Falter said. Put another way, she said they are looking for “the people who are fighting the good fight.”
Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Bartenders are also known to donate part of their tips.
Deering and Falter said they’re proud the community they have created is willing to share its stories and support its members because comedy makes the topic more approachable.
“I remember one show specifically. It was the week after Trump got elected,” Falter said. “After the show, I was hugging people I don’t know telling me that they needed to laugh so bad, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, all I did was host this stupid comedy show,’ but at the end of the day it helps.”
The comedy show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ace of Cups, 2619 N. High St.