Negin Farsad, TED Fellow and Comedy Central Writer, Brings ‘Social Justice Comedy’ to Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, March 15, 2016
Comedy and social issues don’t always blend well – unless you’re “social justice” comedian Negin Farsad. In the engaging talk “Fighting Islamophobia, Bigotry, and What Have You with Comedy,” this TED Senior Fellow and Comedy Central writer will explore how she approaches race, religion and culture through comedy — and show how audiences near and far can chuckle their way to common ground – at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at HarbisonTheatre.org.
Farsad grew up with equal parts activism and humor in her blood, spawning her penchant for making people simultaneously laugh hard and think deeply. She graduated from Cornell University and Columbia University and worked for political candidates and as a public servant. Meanwhile, she performed late-night, often unpaid comedy gigs before graduating to the standup stage at N.Y.C.’s famed Laugh Factory and joining comedy troupes; later, she moved up to feature filmmaking and writing series for MTV, PBS, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and more. Now a TED Senior Fellow, she travels the world giving performances and appearing regularly on national and international TV and radio programs.
Farsad coined the term “social justice comedy” and explains it on the TED Blog: “It’s not about being partisan, but about looking at things from a social justice angle. I’ll talk about anything. I talk about dating, food, Facebook. It doesn’t matter. But I also talk about international diplomacy.”
“Ms. Farsad talks about the way we judge each other from afar, based on bits and pieces of information; and about how we define ourselves based only on what makes us feel most proud,” explains Katie Fox, Executive Director at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. “Then she turns those judgments and pride points on their heads in the most hilarious ways, pointing out that we are all more similar than different, and that humility is probably our best weapon in the charge towards peace.”
Named one of the ‘50 Funniest Women’ by Huffington Post, Negin Farsad has been recognized and praised internationally, from being dubbed “smart, funny and fascinating” by Wall Street Journal to earning top awards at nationwide film festivals with her film Nerdcore Rising, which premiered at South by Southwest to sold-out crowds and critical acclaim. Farsad has made multiple waves in the filmmaking world – her 2012 comedic justice film, “The Muslims are Coming,” starring the likes of Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow and Lewis Black, won a humanitarian award from the Arab-American Institute, and received the Comedy Vanguard Audience Award after its premiere at Austin Film Festival.
Farsad is also known for her other unflinching works, including video shorts and writing pieces. Farsad recently won the Lifetime Women Filmmaker Award for her short film, Hot Bread Kitchen; while Queen Rania of Jordan commissioned Farsad to make a video as part of a series to combat Middle Eastern stereotypes, which went on to win the first-ever YouTube Visionary Award. Her first book, How to Make White People Laugh, will be published in May of 2016.
Individual show tickets are available now at www.HarbisonTheatre.org. Buyers may also order tickets via phone at 803.407.5011, or in person at the Harbison Theatre Box Office, Mondaythrough Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The box office also will open two hours prior to each show in the Signature Series.
About Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
Rooted in the performing arts, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College offers programs and productions that encourage reflection, examination and discovery; and that provide entertainment, education and opportunity to professionals, learners and community members in all stages of life. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets, or pursue sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with Harbison Theatre, please visit harbisontheatre.org.
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About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina. The fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and the largest provider of transfer students to the University of South Carolina, MTC enrolls approximately 16,000 credit students annually. The college’s Corporate and Continuing Education program, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, annually has 25,000 enrollments and provides continuing education to hundreds of area businesses each year. midlandstech.edu