Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department faculty member Anne Libera, director of the Theatre Department’s BA Program in Comedy Writing and Performance, will co-moderate a panel on “The History of Chicago Comedy” as part of the first World Comedy Expo, running March 25 through 27 at various venues in Chicago. Libera and her husband Kelly Leonard, executive director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at Second City Works, will lead a discussion packed with rich insights and stories about such Chicago comedy icons as Bob Newhart, Bernie Mac, Bill Murray, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and many more. “The History of Chicago Comedy” panel takes place on Sunday, March 27, from 1 to 2 PM at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar, located at 851 W. Belmont in Chicago’s Belmont Theatre District. To register, click here.
Libera was also quoted in a March 19 Weekend Edition Saturday broadcast by National Public Radio’s Scott Simon about Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s leadership of his nation during the Russian invasion. In an opinion piece headlined, “Zelenskyy’s Comedy Background is Ever-Present in His Approach to Nations,” Simon quoted Libera as saying: “Comedy manipulates truth, pain and psychological distance with the intent to make others laugh. . . . Zelenskyy has a comedian’s ability to connect.” You can read or listen to the piece here.