Q: This is the 12th year that Girls Nite Out has come to Globus Theatre AND the concept behind Girls Nite Out originated here at Globus Theatre. How did the concept come together?
A: That was Sarah Quick’s big idea! She wanted to do an all-female event and asked me to rally some comedians together for a show at Globus. It has evolved quite a bit since then. The group grew and has now become a tighter troupe of women who love coming together for our shows.
Q: How did you start in comedy and what has your personal journey in the industry been like?
A: I’m from Winnipeg originally. I never thought of myself as a funny person, but I always loved comedy. I would watch things like Saturday Night Live a lot! I started visiting Toronto in my early 20’s and I would always go to a Second City show. In 1996, my friend Marty (Current President of Globus’ Board of Directors) and his wife told me I could stay with them if I wanted to move to Toronto. As soon as I found that I had a place to stay, I quit my job and made my way to Toronto and started classes at The Second City. Before this, I did have a theatre background and toured the Fringe circuit, which is where I met James and Sarah.
Q: Where else besides Globus has Girls Nite Out traveled to?
A: We now do regular gigs in St. Catherines and Collingwood – mostly in Ontario but we did do an East Coast tour last year. This weekend we are going to the Contact Festival in St. Catherines where a lot of artistic directors will see us. We have made a name for us in our regular spots but are still growing and getting attention from new venues and theatres.
Q: What about Toronto?
A: Toronto is a saturated market for Comedy and performing as a group in the city hasn’t been our focus. We do things individually in the city like our stand-up and improv gigs but not collectively. We have found a home with audiences outside of the GTA because there seems to be a hunger for our show in smaller cities and rural towns; A hunger for women to get together, go out, and have a laugh – and a glass of wine usually helps.
Q: Can you share a highlight or two of performing Girls Nite Out?
A: Our show became something very special when we started introducing the Talk Show format, which allows us to hear women’s stories from the audience. This is a highlight for sure! We never know who’s name we are going to pull out of a hat and we never know the stories we are going to hear. Involving the women in the audience creates a different show every time and it makes us w ant to do it even more! Improv is very empowering – someone will get up and share their story expecting nerves but eventually finding the experience truly liberating. Being able to give someone else the spotlight so that they contribute to the shared laughter in the room is a real gift. Another highlight is that we, the performers, have so much fun on stage together. We truly love each other and jump at the opportunity to get on stage together.
Q: What kind of show can audiences expect on September 29th?
A: There will be a bit of stand up and some improv – it’s a really good mix. We also want to include the men more. We want to make it more inclusive and we need someone to make fun of. There are always a lot of husbands in the audience (probably the designated drivers) and we want them to have fun too. We aren’t just talking about our periods!
Q: What kind of audiences have you performed to in the past?
A: We have performed to audiences of about 100 to 600! We don’t prefer one over the other – as long as they are laughing!
Jennine Profeta Bio
Jennine Profeta is an actor (NBC, The Comedy Network, The Second City National Touring Co.), writer (CBC, Chatelaine magazine) and corporate improv facilitator (Women in Leadership and Business, Meridian, TD) with more than 20 years of experience.