Last spring I saw pictures of this show called “Comedy Commune” on Facebook and knew I had to go check it out one day. What was captured in the images was something I’d never seen before: a spacious apartment packed with people, three signs around the stage area reading “Comedy Commune” in neon, glow-in-the-dark green, more people sitting on a balcony overlooking the stage, and string lights of blue, purple and yellow adorned around the walls, columns, and overhead.
It wasn’t just a comedy show–it looked like a whole production.
Still in my portfolio-building phase of my photography career, I reached out via the Facebook page and asked if I could take photos for the show at some point. A couple months later I arrive at this amazing event space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, complete with huge windows, a bar, upstairs green room and outside lounge. Comedy Commune occasionally changes venues month-to-month, so while this wasn’t the apartment space in the pictures, it was impressive nonetheless. There were about fifteen people there setting up the stage, sound system, video cameras, bar area, and seating. Before the audience arrived, the “Comedy Commune” signs were set, the stage was bordered by plants and there were balloons scattered across the seats, couches and floor filling the room with both color and an atmosphere that made it impossible not to have a good time. My judgment from the pictures a couple months earlier was spot on: this was a production.
Fast forward some months and I’m hanging out with Comedy Commune’s producer, Scotty Levell, in his Williamsburg apartment; he tells me he’s been watching a lot of Masterclass, and everything begins to make sense. Scotty’s interested in learning how to direct and craft a scene, and it more than shows in the comedy he produces. You don’t have to be behind the scenes to realize that there’s a certain amount of work that goes into making Comedy Commune look the way it does. The decor doesn’t magically pop into place–a lot of thought and effort goes into arranging everything to make for a lively and engaging show.
While the decor is something you can clearly see in pictures, another aspect of the show that you have to experience in person is the comics that perform. Comedy Commune brings back a packed audience each month for a reason: the comedy is great. Each show has comics that have performed on Comedy Central, Netflix, and late night. Beyond the credits and accolades they’ve received though, they’re just plain funny. If you’re interested in checking out the next show, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a ticket link, and follow Comedy Commune on Instagram @comedycommune.