‘El Barrio’: Doing Comedy in Spanish

Chano García (center) founder of “El Barrio: Comedia en Español” seeks to promote Hispanic comedy in NYC. (Photo courtesy of Chano García via Noticia)

New York City is famous for being the birthplace of some of the world’s most renowned comedians. Now, a young Mexican man wants to make room for comedy in Spanish. His name: Donaciano García, or “Chano.” (…)

Chano and other Hispanic young artists have founded the comedy troupe “El Barrio: Comedia en Español” (“El Barrio: Comedy in Spanish”) with the purpose of building a community of Latino comedians.

“We have created this group because even though there are many of us Hispanics in the city, it is rare to see a comedy show in Spanish,” said Chano. “El Barrio’s mission is to bring together a group of people interested in this style and to grow together as comedians.”

(…) El Barrio offers classes and the chance to perform in shows, all free of charge.

“We are offering free classes so that those interested can form troupes and exchange ideas and jokes,” he added.

El Barrio (…) teaches workshops on the basic principles of stand-up comedy and also works with the students to help them come up with better material. Although at the moment they are focusing on stand-up, the group plans to incorporate improv and sketch comedy.

“I want to create a niche for stand-up in Spanish,” said the Mexican comedian. “Personally, I believe that Spanish has a different rhythm and a different type of humor. It is about having comedians who are diverse. Our audience is diverse so the actors need to reflect that.”

El Barrio has also started hosting open mics to allow everyone to hone their stand-up skills and keep improving as they gain experience. The first one was last Sunday.

“We started with open mics because they are shows in which anyone can get onstage and tell jokes for a few minutes,” Chano explained. “These shows will have free admission for the general audience and will give comedians the chance to grow. Later on, we will start having shows with professional comedians at different theaters across the city. Lastly, the goal is to create a community with enough comedians to keep a steady base of comic material. Enough to have stand-up, sketch and improv shows all over the city!”

(…)

Find more information at elbarriocomedy.com, or at @ElBarrioComedy on Facebook.

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