The Latina Comedy Festival was founded in 2022 by Janice V. Rodriguez and Jess Martinez, both Chicago-based comedians. As National Latina Day approached, Martinez was inspired to celebrate by bringing to life an idea she and Rodriguez had previously discussed. In just a matter of weeks, the Las Locas Comedy producers not only successfully organized a historic event but also managed to sell out the show! The festival’s first edition featured a marathon-style showcase, with 16 Chicago-based Latina/e standup comedians delivering hilarious five-minute sets. The audience’s enthusiastic response was overwhelming, confirming that they were onto something special.
Fast forward to 2023, and the festival has made significant strides. It has moved to October, aligning with Hispanic Heritage Month, and has evolved to a three-day extravaganza spread across various venues in Chicago. Moreover, the festival is set to become a prime platform for industry professionals to witness the country’s top Latina comedians all in one place. In homage to its inaugural “marathon” show, the flagship event will return to the Lincoln Lodge on Saturday, October 7 at 5 pm!
Janice Rodriguez is a Chicago-based entrepreneur, comedian, and executive producer of Las Locas Comedy and Latina Comedy Festival. When she’s not wasting time on an unnecessary spreadsheet or micromanaging others, she performs her unique brand of stand up comedy across Chicagoland and the country. Janice uses her experience as being the whitest Latina she knows and an at best average marriage partner to tell her side of the story. Janice aims to bring a fresh perspective to topics related to her culture, Indiana upbringing, and her professional and personal lives. She’s also really tired.
She’s single, bilingual, and ready to mingle… Well, she’s single. Jess Martínez is a Chicago-based comedian originally from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. A graduate of both The Second City Training Center and Feminine Comique stand-up programs, Jess enjoys making audiences laugh as she genuinely tries to make sense of the world around her. Jess has appeared at Chicago Women’s Funny Festival as well as Yippie Fest. She produced the stand-up benefit show 501(tee)(hee): A Fundraiser for Snow City Arts, produces Comedy Open Mic Night at Navigator Taproom on Monday nights, and is a former associate producer of Las Locas Comedy. You can catch Jess performing stand-up all over the city.
Christina Gutierrez is an American comedian, actress, and writer based in Chicago and London. She moved to London at 20 after winning the jackpot at a Canadian casino and got into comedy because a group of comedians at a pub told her she was ‘kind of’ funny. Her comedy is inspired by relationships, intrusive thoughts, and being not a Millennial, but not yet a Gen Z-er. Previous credits include Chicago’s Lincoln Lodge, the Latina Comedy Festival, and Laugh Factory.