With live comedy put on hold for the past several months, the co-producers of Uproar comedy open mic have had to find other ways to express their creativity.
Whether it was Zoom shows, co-producer Devohn Bland writing the Minneapolis PD anthem of the summer, or just trying to keep their neighbors entertained on the way to throw out their trash, the group, including Bland, Xochi De La Luna, Madi RT, and Comrade Tripp, has not performed for a live crowd since before the start of the pandemic shutdown. But that’s all going to change tonight, when Uproar makes its triumphant return at Phelps Park Basketball Court in Minneapolis.
Uproar is a comedy open mic dedicated to showcasing women, trans, nonbinary, Black, brown, indigenous, and LGBTQ comics. Since November 2018, the group has created a funny, safe and inclusive space for new and aspiring comics to try comedy, while showcasing local and national headliners. Their shows, typically held monthly at Du Nord Spirits, are some of the most consistently funny, unique, and occasionally confusing comedy nights anywhere in the Twin Cities. The show tonight, the group says, will continue to stay true to their mission.
“We want to be a resource for the community. People use comedy as a way of healing,” says Madi RT. “A lot of people are excited about this show, and we feel that having an outlet like this is important. Our mission is the same as before. We’re creating a space for people who may not have had an opportunity [to get onstage] otherwise.”
Bland says that one of the biggest factors in tonight’s show is the safety of performers and audience members alike.
“We’re doing everything we can to make this safer,” Bland says. “No disrespect to other open mics or anything, but the idea of trying to do a show in a club or an enclosed area right now seems like a lot. By doing it outside like this, we got more control and we can see how the community responds.”
The other element the group is focusing on is being mindful of the space they’re occupying for the show. The basketball courts are located at 39th and Chicago, just south of the George Floyd memorial.
“Communities need levity, and comedy has positives and negatives,” adds Bland. “People need to heal, and hopefully they can do it here. But we also don’t want to show up and invade the space and have people taking pictures like, ‘Yo, I did standup at the George Floyd memorial!’ That’s disrespectful. We’re making sure that our intentions are in the right place.”
As for the show itself, all four producers will perform, and sign-up for others who wish to get on stage will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m., with the show starting promptly at 7 p.m.
“I’m excited and nervous,” says Bland. “I’ve done comedy in basements, attics, kitchenettes. I’ll do comedy anywhere. But I’m nervous because I had to resort to doing videos and finding new ways to do comedy, so it’s been a while since I had real people watching me. It’s going to be exciting.”
Of the entire group, Tripp probably has the most relatable feelings on getting back on stage.
“I’m excited to see people somewhere other than Target,” he says. “Or really to be in any social situation without fluorescent lighting.”
And if by chance no one shows up tonight?
“We’ll just sit on the stage, which is actually just a rug, and eat popsicles and Manny’s Tortas by ourselves,” says RT.
IF YOU GO:
Uproar Comedy Open Mic
Phelps Park, 701 E 39th St., Minneapolis
Monday, July 13
Performers can sign-up from 6-6:30 p.m.; show begins at 7 p.m.
Click here for details