Women in Comedy Panel and Mixer with Okema T. Moore, Samantha Jones, Hollie Harper, Shona Tucker and Christy Lee Hughes & moderated by Sunny Edelman

Okema T. Moore, Producer/Director/Writer; Samantha Jones, Actor/Improviser and founder/owner of Hudson Valley Improv; Hollie Harper, Comedian/Producer/Creative Director; Shona Tucker, Actor/Writer/Director/Educator; and moderated by Sunny Edelman, President, Upstate Women in Film and Television

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Instructor

Instructors

Panelist

Panelists

Okema T. Moore 

Okema T. Moore is a PGA producer and rising director. She has creatively produced and/or directed projects ranging from the narrative 2019 ABFF winner Little Apple - to branded content for Lifetime, Netflix, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, FOX, BET and DOVE. She is an alum of the Tribeca Film Festival and has a Telly and Webby Award for 2021. Okema has also produced shows for the Food Network, TLC, BET and OWN. Most recently she produced a new follow-doc series dropping on BET this fall, was the showrunner for BRIC TV’s first late-night talk show, and Creative Produced/ Directed most of this year’s CultureCon@ Home 2021, which was virtually attended by over 20k participants. She also produced - during the pandemic - the EMMY Nominated PBS/American Masters docuseries Unladylike2020. She was one of five chosen Fellows Minority in FILM’s inaugural Branded Lab for commercial and branded directors and helps run the Black TV & Film Collective’s Black Producer Fellowship. Okema also serves as the chair of the programming committee for the BTFC Board of Directors and is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors for NY Women in Film & TV.

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones is an actor, improviser and founder/owner of Hudson Valley Improv, an award-winning improv training center based online and in Ulster Park, NY. Jones' career has always been grounded in years of formal study, improvisation and live theatre. She found the legs of her career while writing and performing stand-up, sketch comedy, and four solo shows in multiple venues in NYC. Jones' credits include multiple films and TV shows including "Dr.Death"/Peacock,"Emergence"/ABC, "Bull"/CBS, "The Blacklist"/NBC, "Law and Order: SVU"/NBC, and most recently "The Green Veil" with John Leguizamo. www.therealsamanthajones.com, www.hudsonvalleyimprov.com

Hollie Harper

Hollie Harper is a comedy nerd from South Jersey. She is currently the creator and co-exec  producer of Hella Late! with Hollie Harper on BRIC TV and a co-host of the nationally trending  Twitter Storytelling Chat “BlerdDating.” Hella Late! with Hollie Harper was recently accepted into  the 2021 NYC Web Fest. 

Hollie was a semi-finalist in the 2019 NBC Standup Competition and has been featured on NY1,  and in Black Enterprise Magazine, Thrive Global and Confessional Magazine. 

Her popular sketch comedy show AMERICAN CANDY has played the Comic Strip, Gotham  Comedy Club, BAM Café as well as the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. Time Out Chicago  named them one of the five groups to watch.

Hollie is a regular host for West Side Comedy Club in NYC and works with Gold Comedy and  Stand Up Girls, two programs that empower young women by teaching them standup comedy.  

She was recently the talent coordinator and casting for “Blood Lassi” on Spotify, written by Pratima  Mani, and moderated the panel for the Emmy Award winning, WOC editing team of Black Lady  Sketch Show for The Black TV and Film Collective. 

She is also the Creative Director of the very successful Black Women in Comedy Laff Fest.

Shona Tucker 

Shona Tucker loves to work in the hyphens. Actor- Writer-Director - Educator.  As an Actor, she is currently working  on REEL STORIES - MADE IN NEW YORK by Dean Taucher. Also as an actor, she has two films coming out this year,  HATING GAME (starring Lucy Hale) and LINOLEUM (w/Jim Gaffigan). As Writer-Actor she wrote her solo show, GROWING WILD which was developed at New York Stage and Film and was performed at the 2019, #Heal Me Too Festival at IRT. GROWING WILD is the second play of her trilogy MISSISSIPPI MUD which she hopes to workshop with NYSAF.

Ms. Tucker was in the original cast of the critically acclaimed Broadway Production of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD   ... ... ...  other credits Off Broadway and Regional include: Playwrights Horizon, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville, and ACT/San Francisco. Her television/film credits : LIGHTS OUT, WALK THE FISH, PREACHING TO THE CHOIR, NEW YORK UNDERCOVER, and LAW AND ORDER. Ms Tucker,winner of the Audelco Award - Usual Suspect with NYTW - Fulbright Scholar - BS, Northwestern University - MFA, NYU/Tisch - Full Professor/ Chair of the Vassar College Drama Department , is thrilled to be on the panel for "Women In Comedy".

Christy Lee Hughes

Christy Lee Hughes is a first generation college graduate born and raised in Albany, New York. From an early age, she fell in love with theater and started performing on stage in various dramatic and comedic plays. She was cast in the lead role of the National Tour of Beauty & The Beast as well as a Juror in a co-ed production of Twelve Angry Jurors. Christy continued to study while performing improv with Upright Citizens Brigade in New York as well as The Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles. Christy was cast opposite Melissa Leo in the film Predisposed, written and directed by Phil Dorling and Ron Nyswaner. Predisposed was an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Christy plays the role of Sydney McQueen in a new original comedy pilot, Shoddy House B&B, created by Nora Dunn. Christy was a writer on the CBS Comedy Showcase, collectively writing over 1500 comedy sketches with the team. During the summer of 2019, Christy played the role of Jennifer Lawrence as the lead in Cole Quirk's original comedic play, I'm Jennifer Mother Fcking Lawrence and enjoyed a sold out run at the McCadden Theatre in Hollywood.  During the pandemic, Christy optioned and adapted an original play called Guardian, written by Matthew McLachlan.  Originally written for a male lead character, Christy flipped the gender and changed the role to a female lead character and currently plays Gabby in Guardian, earning three Best Actress Awards since it's world premiere in June 2021. Guardian is now a Finalist at The Lake Placid Film Festival and Christy is honored to be here. She lives in Los Angeles and is creating multiple projects, with the intention of changing the landscape of television and film to include more women.

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Saturday

Oct

23

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3:30 pm

5:30 pm

seminar

Seminar

Women in Comedy Panel and Mixer

Venue:

High Peaks Resort (HPR)

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Description:

This panel, sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television and Upstate New York Women in Film and Television, takes a look at the history of women in comedy. Primarily dominated by men, women's comedy was originally tailored to what men would find funny and non-threatening. Early acts were often based on the standard roles of housewife and mother. Over the years, women have made significant gains in television, film and stand-up. We now see how comedy plays an important role in the feminist movement by allowing women's issues to be more wide-spread in society.

Panel discussion from 3:30 - 4:30 PM with the Mixer immediately following. Meet the panelists in person; drinks are on us!

Instructor(s):

Okema T. Moore, Producer/Director/Writer; Samantha Jones, Actor/Improviser and founder/owner of Hudson Valley Improv; Hollie Harper, Comedian/Producer/Creative Director; Shona Tucker, Actor/Writer/Director/Educator; and moderated by Sunny Edelman, President, Upstate Women in Film and Television

Reception sponsored by:

UHS Advisors

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