USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6 Presents: WOMEN CREATING COMEDY

February 25, 2023, 11:00 A.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts, Women of Cinematic Arts,
and USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative,
invite you and a guest to attend a special comedy panel discussion



Featuring Thembi Banks, Brittani Nichols,
and Debby Wolfe

Moderated by Women of Cinematic Arts Board Member Shannon Hardy

11:00 A.M. on Saturday, February 25th, 2023

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007




Presented during the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6,
taking place from February 24th - 26th, 2023

Visit the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6 Homepage:
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This year, the USC Comedy Festival is pleased to partner with Postmates!
Attendees at the Festival will be eligible to redeem a code good for $25 off your Postmates order.
Codes will be available for attendees only. No order minimum. One per user.

About the Panelists


Thembi Banks is an award-winning writer/director from Harlem, New York. Her directing work includes episodes of Insecure and The Sex Lives of College Girls. She wrote on the Emmy nominated series, Only Murders in the Building. Thembi attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia Performing Arts High School where she majored in theater. She has an MFA from USC’s Film and Television Production Program.

Photo Credit: Robin Roemer

Originally from Chicago, Brittani Nichols is an NAACP and WGA nominated writer, actor, and comedian living in Los Angeles. Suicide Kale, the feature she produced, wrote, and starred, is currently available VOD after winning numerous awards including the Audience Award at Outfest and Newfest. Brittani has appeared on the Emmy-nominated television shows, Transparent and A Black Lady Sketch Show, and her writing credits include Drop the Mic, Take My Wife, and A Black Lady Sketch Show. Presently, she is developing a show with Page Hurwitz and Wanda Sykes at Netflix and is a producer and writer on ABC's Emmy-nominated hit show, Abbott Elementary. She enjoys playing basketball, her air fryer, and complicated board games.

SHANNON HARDY (WCA Board Member, Moderator)

Shannon Hardy is a comedian, actor and writer from Massachusetts. Hardy is a WeScreenplay Diverse Voices finalist, Launch Pad Pilot Writing semifinalist, and Yes and Laughter Lab finalist. More recently her pilot, THE GODMOTHER, was #11 on The Red List's top comedy pilots. Her short films have been featured in Clexacon, LA Women’s Independent Film Festival, AGLIFF, LA Cinefest, NFFTY, The Advocate/Pride, and Film Pipeline. Shannon got her start hosting NESN's Dirty Water TV and in 2019 began producing various comedy shows around LA. More recently she appeared in Phoebe Robinson's Facebook Holiday Mess sketch, and up next you can catch her hosting her monthly drag comedy show, Tight 10's.

About Women of Cinematic Arts (WCA)

Women of Cinematic Arts is a collective of female and gender-nonconforming graduates of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Through an engaging slate of professional and social programming, we offer opportunities for our members to band together, support each other from graduation to retirement, and dismantle inequality in the entertainment industry. You can find out more information and join on their website.

About the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6

The 6th Edition of the USC Comedy Festival returns to campus in person this February to celebrate community and share laughter, while exploring the changing nature of comedy in contemporary society.

The festival kicks off with standup comics Niles Abston, Jena Friedman, Alyssa Limperis, Christina Catherine Martinez, and Moses Storm debating the topic: Does Comedy Have to be Funny? with Vulture Senior Editor Jesse David Fox. On Saturday, the Women of Cinematic Arts (WCA) return with the ever popular Women of Comedy panel, this year featuring two unique sessions - one featuring showrunners, writers and directors, including Debby Wolfe (Lopez vs. Lopez), Brittani Nichols (Abbott Elementary), and SCA Alumna Thembi Banks (Only Murders in the Building), and one highlighting on-screen performers, including Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek), Lauren Ash (Superstore), and Andrea Savage (I’m Sorry, Veep). Saturday afternoon, Jesse David Fox will explore The Changing Flavor of Series Comedy with Showrunners Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Steve Levitan (Modern Family, Reboot), and Gina Yashere (Bob Hearts Abishola). The festival's Saturday night program will honor legendary comic actress and Emmy-winner Catherine O’Hara (SCTV, Beetlejuice, Home Alone, Waiting for Guffman, Schitt’s Creek), recipient of our 2023 Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Masters of Comedy Award, in conversation with John Michael Higgins (Best in Show). Our final day will shine a spotlight on the 2023 Best Picture Nominated feature Triangle of Sadness with Best Director Nominee Ruben Östlund, followed by Marvel’s She-Hulk: Attorney at Law with Series Creator Jessica Gao, and conclude with An Evening with Billy Eichner, hosted by Emmy-winner Wayne Federman.

Visit the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6 Homepage:
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Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6 on Instagram: @USCComedy
Follow the USC Comedy Festival, Vol. 6 on Twitter: @USCComedy

About USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts

In 2010 USC became the first university in the nation to offer a program dedicated to training filmmakers in the art of comedy. USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts offers instruction in the writing, directing, production as well as the history and theory of comedy. Students work with a distinguished, award-winning faculty of comedy professionals to discover and develop their comedic voices, while getting unrivaled access to the field through workshops, internships, demonstrations and screenings and festivals.

USC Comedy boasts an award-winning faculty that includes Jack Epps Jr. (The Secret of My SuccessLegal EaglesTop Gun), Barnet Kellman (Murphy BrownMad About YouGeorge Lopez), David Isaacs (Cheers, FrasierM*A*S*H*), Robert Townsend (Diary of A Single Mom, The Parent Hood), Rob Schiller (The King of Queens), Andy Cadiff (Last Man Standing, Spin City), Jay Kogen (The Simpsons, Frasier), Chris Guerrero (BuzzFeed, Super Deluxe), Dave Goetsch (The Big Bang Theory), F J Pratt (Sullivan & Son) and Tim Marx (Young Sheldon), to name just a few.
Our students benefit from the expertise and participation of SCA Comedy Alumni such as Jay Roach (Austin PowersMeet the Parents), Tim Story (Barber ShopRide Along), Judd Apatow (Girls, Superbad, Knocked Up),  Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy), Peter Segal (Tommy BoyGet Smart), Gabe Sachs (Freaks and Geeks), Jason Reitman (JunoUp in the Air), Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat), Prentice Penny (Insecure), Cathy Yuspa & Josh Goldsmith (What Women Want, King of Queens), Thembi Banks (Only Murders in the Building), Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip, First Wives Club), Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), among many other luminaries and industry professionals.

For more information, visit:

About USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by former USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

Visit the Official Visions and Voices Website:
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Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago