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Laugh for the Arts FUNdraiser at Court Square Theater Saturday night

Crystal Graham

x2 comedy “Laugh for the Arts: A Stand-Up Comedy Competition” will be held at Court Square Theater tonight starting at 7:30 p.m. The FUNdraiser for Court Square Theater will showcase the talent of a dozen comedians vying for $2,000 in cash and prizes.

Stand-up contestants are Garrett Brumfield, Chris Cabral, Jessica G., Heather Joyce, Colby Knight, Lightning Lucas, Dawn Mast, Tayte Myers, Keaton Ray, Travis Valle, Poppy Vest and Jay Zehr.

Their efforts will be rated by a panel consisting of professional comedians PT Bratton, Miss Clareese and Melissa Douty, along with community member James Carter and 2022 CST Comedy Pageant returning champion Kyle Remnant.

Contestants will be competing for cash and prizes in the following categories:

  • Best in Show, awarded for overall performance ($500, plus Harrisonburg Staycation Package with Hotel Madison accommodations and prizes from other local businesses)
  • Comic Genius, based on originality ($100 plus prizes from local businesses)
  • Show Stopper, recognizing stage presence ($100 plus prizes from local businesses)
  • People’s Choice Award ($250 plus prizes from local businesses) will be determined by voting

Online voting is $1 per vote for the People’s Choice Award and is open to the public now until 7 p.m. There is no limit on the number of votes for individual performers or for the number of performers a voter may support. Audience voting will continue in-person during Laugh for the Arts until the final tally is taken at the end of the evening.

“This competition is going to be packed with laughter,” said CST Managing Director J.P. Gulla. “And all the fun raises funds to support Court Square Theater, this community’s performing arts and film venue. We’re excited that X2 Comedy, known for providing high quality ‘cleanish’ comedy shows in the Shenandoah Valley, will host the event.”

The Funny Womacks of X2 Comedy will emcee the competition. Dawn Davis Womack is a comedian, producer and podcaster. In 2018, she founded X2 Comedy, and three years later launched the “Virginia is For Laughers” podcast. A James Madison University professor, Chris Womack now takes his comedy off campus after educating and entertaining students for 29 years in the classroom.

Proceeds from the event benefit the theater, a program of Arts Council of the Valley, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to cultivating the arts, creating experiences, and connecting communities throughout the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door.

Court Square Theater is located at 41-F Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg.

Visit courtsquaretheater.org to order tickets or to vote online to show support for your favorite stand-up comic(s).

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.