Micia Mosely comedian, actress, and educator has been praised by newyorktheatre.com as, “smart, timely and also downright hilarious.”
This bi-coastal black lesbian and socio-political performer earned her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and has kept audiences laughing in a variety of contexts and venues. Micia wrote and starred her one-woman show, “Where My Girls At?,” an off-Broadway comedy about Black lesbians (produced by Nursha Project, Directed by Tamilla Woodard).
“WMGA?” was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award (Best Solo Performance). Since 2008 she’s toured her standup comedy across the nation including performances in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, the DC Hip-Hop Theatre Festival, and New York City.
In September 2013, Micia debuted her latest project “Survivor Hampshire: The Social Justice edition” She is currently working on her new play “X-Marks the Spot.”
Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is the 2016 winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award (previously awarded to Samantha Bee, Wanda Sykes and satirist/humorist Mark Russell) presented by the National Women’s Political Caucus. KQED named her one of the twenty “Women to Watch” a series celebrating women artists, creatives and makers in the San Francisco Bay Area who are pushing boundaries in 2016. The SF Weekly named her one of the “16 Bay Area performers to watch in 2016.” She was named one of “The Bay Area’s 11 Best Standup Comedians” by SFist. The San Francisco Bay Guardian named her Best Comedian 2013 in the “Best of the Bay” Readers’ Poll. Comedy Central Asia crowned her the Grand Prize Winner of “The Ultimate Comedy Challenge” filmed in Singapore.
She has opened/featured for or worked with the following: Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Greg Behrendt, Jello Biafra, Dick Gregory, Anthony Jeselnik, Maz Jobrani, Norm Macdonald, and Greg Proops. Dhaya introduced former Vice President Al Gore at an event. He then laughed onstage at her joke, so technically she once opened for Al Gore.
Dhaya was one of the chosen artists by The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco to take the entire museum over for one night. During Takeover:Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, she programmed content including stand-up comedy, humorous fake tours of the museum, and an absurdist interpretation of Indian mythological comic books. The only other artist invited to takeover the museum in 2017 was RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan
Dhaya is also a TV host and storyteller. She hosted the premier year of the Emmy award-winning series High School Quiz Show on PBS’s WGBH. She is a frequent comedic storyteller on NPR’s Snap Judgment and has appeared live in Austin on The Risk podcast. She is currently the host of San Francisco’s monthly Moth StorySLAM after winning a Moth StorySLAM and competing in the GrandSLAM at the Castro Theater (capacity 1400). ON24 awarded her the grand prize for “Best Travel Disaster Story.”
Dhaya is a solo performer, and her first play “Nerd Nation” was funded in parts by The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center of San Francisco and support from DIVAfest which supports new and developing works by female playwrights. Her workshop run in San Francisco sold out. She has performed at Bridgetown Comedy Festival (Portland, OR), San Francisco Sketchfest, the Boston Comedy Festival (semifinalist), the Limestone Comedy Festival (Bloomington, IN) and Laugh Your Asheville Off (Asheville, NC).
Motor City native Karinda Dobbins was born into a politically active family of skilled storytellers and sharp wits. Her worldview was shaped by their accounts of protest, civil rights and empowerment, weighty subjects that were always leavened with humor. Whenever she heard the grownups laughing long past her bedtime, she took that as her cue to sneak out of her room and eavesdrop while they entertained themselves with Richard Pryor records. She not only listened, she learned, and grew up to hold her own as a keen comedic commentator.
Dobbins moved from Michigan to California’s Bay Area and responding to repeated dares from a girlfriend who challenged her to try making the crowd laugh at an open mic, Karinda finally took the stage at Woody’s Café, and killed. Sure, she tried to fill the seats with supportive family and friends, and true, she had no competition since nobody else had signed up for stage time, but everybody, from the show’s host to strangers in the audience, was amazed that she was able to do 10 funny minutes of stand-up material her first time onstage. (She’d shrewdly spent a month writing her act in preparation, never anticipating she’d be put under pressure to perform all of it at once.)
Spurred on by the enthusiastic feedback, Karinda decided to see where comedy would take her and began honing her craft at more venues. To date, she has appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival; featured at Bay Area comedy clubs the Punch Line and Cobb’s; opened for Hari Kondabolu, Trevor Noah and toured with W. Kamau Bell. Karinda made her primetime national television debut on Coast-to-Coast Episode 1 on NickMom Night Out.
Karen Williams has the unique distinction of being the nation's first openly lesbian black comic to include specifically lesbian material in her act. Her solo comedy special "I Need a Snack" filmed live in Hollywood and produced by Andrea Meyerson of AllOut Films is a LOGO TV staple and available on DVD.
The feature-length, award-winning comedy-documentary "Laughing Matters" showcases Karen's star quality and includes interview clips that highlight her social activism. Other credits include the film "We’re Funny That Way" of HBO fame, and comedy writer and host for the TV show "In The Life" out of New York City.
Karen Williams is a featured comic performer with Olivia Travel cruises and resorts for lesbians since 1990. She’s been a ghostwriter at Columbia Pictures, and her humor writings appear in numerous anthologies, including Joke Stew (Andrews McMeel Publishing), Revolutionary Laughter (Crossing Press), Out in All Directions (Warner Brothers), and Out, Loud & Laughing (Random House).
Karen Williams graduated summa cum laude from Cleveland State University with a personally-designed major in "Humor and Healing." She earned a Master of Education degree from CSU's Adult Learning & Development program. Karen Williams, M.Ed, taught Stand-Up Comedy in the Dramatic Arts department of Cleveland State University; studied improv at Second City/Chicago; and directed inaugural comedy classes at Second City/Cleveland.
Karen Williams is also the creator and facilitator of the Humor-at-Large Workshop Series; founder of the National Women's Comedy Conference; past president of the Association of Women's Music and Culture; and former board member of AIDS, Medicine and Miracles, Love Makes A Family, and the National Black Justice Coalition.
Most recently, Karen Williams is a certified provider of STC courses in communication skills and diversity for the California Board of State and Community Corrections (www.bscc.ca.gov).
Karen Williams is the Founder and CEO of HaHA Institute ~ International Institute of Humor and Healing Arts ~ whose mission is to encourage the fullest and highest activation of human potential for compassion, wisdom, and life force through the daily use of humor that supports healing: www.hahaInstitute.com