Idaho Laugh Fest: An excuse to LOL

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-14 20:16:10-05

Everyone can use a good laugh now and then. Organizers of this weekend's laugh fest say with almost 60 performers lined up, now is the time to relax and enjoy a good chuckle.

After all, laughing can be contagious and with seasonal depression and being snowed in recently, organizers of the 2017 Idaho Laugh Fest want to give you an excuse to kick the new year off with a smile on your face.

This year, they partnered with Boise Film Festival directors to put on a show at The Egyptian Theatre. It's filled with comedy shorts and features submissions from the Treasure Valley and beyond.

April Matson not only submitted a comedy short for the line up but taught one of the workshops held at Jack's Urban Meeting Place, or JUMP. She believes there is an art to making people laugh. During her Theatre 101 class, she stressed the importance of performers being in the moment.

"Obviously, getting to see people perform is always fun and getting to see the film festival but going into the workshops... I think it definitely, especially at the beginning of the year, is good timing because it motivates you to think about what kinds of things you want to focus on and what you could create, while thinking about what resources are in the community that can help you to do that," Matson said.

At the sketch writing workshop following Matson's session, participants were asked to invent a character with help from wigs and a few other props. Once the creative juices were flowing, individuals' characters came to life through a group exercise to use all characters in one single storyline. 

Idaho Laugh Fest allows for the local comedy scene to be highlighted, while at the same time bringing in top performers from across the U.S. and Canada. That's, of course, besides the main goal of getting people to laugh out loud.

"It really does have some kind of a health benefit, and I can't imagine anyone laughing and regretting it," said Megan Bryant, director of Idaho Laugh Fest. "It's just something that feels good."

The Idaho Laugh Fest runs through Sunday with multiple venues. To ensure a seat, it's advised to purchase tickets in advance.

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