While many comedy venues offer improv classes or other workshops, many people's experience going to a comedy club involves pricey tickets, 2 drink minimums, and performers who's material is, well, rough.
The Stomping Ground Comedy Theater in Dallas is changing all that, and more.
For starters, it's not just a comedy venue, it's also a non-profit.
"What this means is, our hearts are in a different place" says Diane Michelle, a producer, instructor, and diversity advocate at The Stomping Ground. "Most venues that you go to, yes they're in the comedy business, but they're also in the liquor business."
While many of their shows are BYOB (check their calendar), you're not going to find drink minimums or an emphasis on how much money you spend.
"[The] Stomping Ground is not about that at all...we care about not just giving people a seat at the table, we want to give them the whole table" says Michelle.
They want to connect the community through comedy.
For Pride month, that's what they're doing.
Michelle is the producer for Think Outside The Closet, a special show on June 29th to celebrate Pride month and bring it to a close.
Think Outside The Closet is a storytelling performance featuring people from the Dallas/Fort Worth LGBTQIA community sharing their funny, impactful, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of coming out.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be a coming out story, but anything that has to do with getting to live your truth" says Michelle, "That's what we want to hear about."
One group who's stories will resonate is the Silver Pride Project, who represents the senior LGBTQ community in DFW. It's members offer the insights of a community and generation who have seen the evolution of Pride and LGBT rights.
Michelle says "We want to highlight and showcase people that are usually left out or not thought of. This is really a night for them to be able to not feel just tolerated, but celebrated."
Think Outside The Closet and after party are on June 29th at 8 PM. Visit stompinggroundcomedy.org for tickets or more information.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, but it's all welcomed at The Stomping Ground.
Not only do they produce comedy shows, the theater features workshops, improv classes, scholarships, and programs for teens and kids.
Their Improv For Life program offers therapeutic improv classes for people with autism, Alzheimer's and dementia, brain injuries, and anxiety, and classes designed for caregivers.
It's not just for fun - research has shown the benefits of improv as a form of and supplement to therapy.
The Stomping Ground welcomes people in DFW from any community to join, whether that's for a comedy show, a class, or volunteering.