Alley Steele, a junior at UNC, has performed multiple times at The Pit, including at the Friends of Dorothy show.
“I did stand up at The Pit a couple times before Friends of Dorothy, and it was a really middle-aged white male audience,” Steele said. “It’s kind of discouraging because as a younger, gay woman, the jokes I was making just definitely weren’t geared toward that type of audience.”
The show is split into two parts: First, three stand-up comics perform for about ten minutes each. The second part consists of improv acting.
Jackie Flannigan is the current producer of the show and has performed at Friends of Dorothy before.
“You know the other comics are also respectful of your identity, and you know automatically when you go up that the other people that are going up too have a similar language, even if we all have different backgrounds,” Flannigan said. “We all kind of know what it’s like to be an LGBTQ person in the South, and also an LGBTQ person in a predominantly straight-male dominated scene.”
Outfluenced, produced by Christy Croft, is another show hosted by The Pit. Rather than LGBTQ+ comedy, this show is about LGBTQ+ storytelling. Stewart said, in the past, the two shows have often been on the same day, and they work together in providing spaces for queer artists.
“I cried at least once every time I saw it," Flannigan said. "Not because the stories are particularly sad, just because they’re moving. It’s a really freeing, cool experience to be a part of.”
The next Outfluenced show is on March 31 at 8 p.m.
This month, proceeds from Friends of Dorothy are going to the LGBT Center of Raleigh. It costs $12 to attend, or $10 if an item of clothing is rainbow-patterned.
“For comedy, there’s a really niche spot for women and for LGBT people,” Steele said. “There’s a good comedy community at UNC, but this is the only show I found that’s explicitly for the queer community.”
The show is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m.
“It’s nice to create a space for the audience and the performers where they feel safe and respected, and it’s kind of like they’re coming home,” Flannigan said. “It’s like performing for family.”