When University of Wyoming students — and some community members who managed to buy tickets in the few hours before they sold out — saw Trevor Noah perform in Laramie earlier this month, they got to engage with a discussion of race, politics and society in an inviting and humorous way.
Comedian Kristina Wong, slated to perform Tuesday at UW, will offer a chance for Laramie residents to do it again, said Erin Olsen, assistant director of the Service, Leadership and Community Engagement office at UW.
“It’s a really wonderful way of bringing people together and highlighting the ways race, gender, poverty, equality impact everybody,” she said. “Doing it through the auspices of comedy, I think, is a great way to pull people together and obviously laugh and enjoy her comedy, but also take away some great education from her comedic style.”
Hailing from San Francisco, Wong is a third-generation Chinese-American.
Her comedy set, which will focus on issues of social justice, is called the Wong Street Journal Show.
“This is under the auspices of our Good Mule Project, which is really committed to creating dialogue around issues of multiculturalism and diversity and really through the lens of social justice activism,” Olsen said. “And really that’s a lot of what Kristina Wong’s comedy is about — bringing light to a lot of these issues, and then doing it through comedy.”
The Good Mule Project is an event series, hosted by students working with the Service, Leadership and Community Engagement office, seeking to create dialogue about the very kinds of issues addressed in Wong’s comedy.
The student-led project looks different from year to year, as younger students fill in for those who graduate and move on. The People’s Supper, however, is a repeat event and brings community members together for food and presentations.
“It’s really geared around bringing people from all political or ideological or identity differences to the table and sharing a meal and it’s a really wonderful framework for sparking dialogue and making connections among students, staff, faculty members,” Olsen said. “Those have been two really powerful events throughout the year.”
The show comes as students are returning to class from spring break, and Olsen said her office is hoping students will take the evening as a welcome break from a busy time of year.
“Sometimes that week right after spring break can be challenging,” she said. “That’s when students are coming back and there are so many exams and huge projects. So, we’ve got our fingers crossed we have a great turnout.”
The show starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. The event is free to the public.
Call the Service, Leadership and Community Engagement Office at 766-3117 for more information.