Circular Reasoning Improv co-presidents Madeleine Haas, a fourth-year studying political science and sociology and McKenzie Fleischer, a fourth-year studying theater. Credit: Sam Markel | Lantern Reporter

When it comes to getting laughs, relatability is key. This week, Circular Reasoning Improv will take its first crack at comedy from a different perspective. 

The new club will perform together for the first time at “Your body. Your choice. Our jokes.,” a collaborative comedy show hosted by Student Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness Sept. 13 in Campbell Hall. The event is part of SASHA’s Repro Rights Weekend, benefiting Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, according to the club’s website. 

The event will also include performances from Fishbowl Improv, Backburner Sketch Comedy and Sundial Humor Magazine.

According to its website, SASHA focuses on providing comprehensive sex education for Ohio State. Part of that mission is removing the stigma around conversations about sex through events such as Repro Rights Weekend and the club’s annual Sex Week.

Madeleine Haas, co-president of Circular Reasoning Improv and a fourth-year in political science and sociology, said SASHA shares a similar goal with the club — promoting marginalized voices and normalizing taboo topics. 

“We’re going to be, as much as we can, talking about things that are not usually talked about and that’s kind of a relief in and of itself to hear those things talked about and shed light on those,” Haas said.

Haas said she feels the interests of marginalized identities, specifically women and the LGBTQ community, are not being served by the university.

Haas and the club’s other co-president McKenzie Fleischer, a fourth-year in theater, helped start the organization after previously being involved with Backburner Comedy Club and Fishbowl Improv, respectively.

Circular Reasoning Improv was formed in spring 2019 by a group of students who were already members of other comedy groups on campus, but wanted to create a group for people of marginalized identities. 

Fleischer emphasized the importance of having opportunities for women to find their voices in comedy and a space for people of underrepresented identities to feel comfortable being on stage.

“It’s important to note that comedy … it’s a very white, cis male-dominated art form, so I think us saying, ‘We’re gonna have a space just for people of marginalized gender identities,’ is like, we’re sort of taking our claim to comedy,” Fleischer said. 

Haas said she thinks comedy can be crucial a tool for progress and healing. 

“That’s a great moment to take something that’s really taboo and hard for people to talk about and tell a joke that kind of opens things up to have some sort of empathetic human experience together,” Haas said.

Though Haas said she expects the event to be full of laughs, she said she believes the cause behind the show is important.

Planned Parenthood, the benefactor of the event, will see a major hit in funding this year after choosing to leave the Title X initiative, which accounted for 13 percent of its funding in 2018, in order to skirt a May 3 Trump administration rule.

“Your body. Your choice. Our jokes.,” featuring Circular Reasoning Improv’s first performance, will take place from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 13 in Campbell Hall Room 200. Admission is free, but $5 donations are suggested.

Update: An earlier version of this story said Scarlet and Grace Notes would also perform at this event.