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.

The festival greatly expanded in 2023 moving to October to align with Hispanic Heritage Month. The fest evolved to a three-day laugh filled extravaganza featuring 35 Latina comedians from across North America, performing at 5 showcases at four venues across the city of Chicago. The 2023 festival received extensive press coverage and sold out 4 of their five showcases. In homage to its inaugural “marathon” show, the flagship event returned to Lincoln Lodge on Saturday, October 7th, 2023 and sold out again!

In 2024, we’re on the rise! The 3rd Annual Latina Comedy Festival is expanding to six shows spanning three days at various Chicago venues, running from October 3rd to October 5th, 2024. Additionally, we’re excited to introduce comedian workshops, broadening our mission to provide resources and education to enhance the visibility and elevate the achievements of Latina comedians in the entertainment world.


Janice Rodriguez

Executive Producer

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.

Jess Martínez

Associate Producer/Cofounder

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

Associate Producer

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.

Nana Rodriguez

Associate Producer/Sponsorships

Nana Rodriguez is the founder of comedy production company Pa Fuera Productions, LLC. When she’s not showing off her shiny, long coif and trying out for TRESemmé spots, she produced and hosted The Good Vibe Comedy Show which debuted in 2018. She’s the current co-producer of the monthly comedy series Pa Fuera and Las Locas Comedy collab Sabado Night Laughs at Surge Billiards in Logan Square. As a performer, she brings people together with her energetic, charismatic, in-your-face, animated storytelling style that deals with her life as a Mexican-American lesbian growing up in the Chicago suburbs. You can bet she gets real!