“I think the idea of being on a team where you can share the load and make something bigger as a group, rather than doing five minutes by yourself, and refining that by bouncing ideas or material off each other, is really attractive to me,” Lewis said.
Goodwill said the group hopes to support new comics who could use that collaboration to continue their development.
“It gives us a unique opportunity to go ahead and also shine a spotlight on any comics that are maybe a bit newer to this, maybe not as confident on stage, and can use that group comic environment a little bit better,” Goodwill said.
Lewis said the PIT’s support of new and young comics has been important to him as he develops as a comedian.
“The PIT is kind of the place for people in Chapel Hill to come and try stand-up comedy,” Lewis said. “Maybe they like it, maybe they don't, maybe they bomb — but you have a stage on which to try, and everyone there is pretty supportive.”
Will Purpura, artistic director of the PIT Chapel Hill, agreed to put on the show because of his relationship with Lewis, who is on the PIT’s house team. He said supporting young comics is important to the PIT’s mission, and presenting the group’s debut show fits that mission.
“It's an opportunity for young comedians to work on their craft and get better and better with each performance,” Purpura said. “We're trying to make this an open and inclusive place for many different voices to be heard, so we want to keep it as a place where a lot of diverse voices are being celebrated.”
Lewis, who has cerebral palsy, said he wants audiences to laugh during the show and leave thinking about a different perspective on the world.
“I use a wheelchair or walker to get around campus, and I've had some positive and negative experiences living life that way,” Lewis said. "If I can relay that to a group of people in a way that they can understand someone else better, I think that is ultimately the goal of the night.”