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Theta Chapter Presents the Art of Comedy

Theta Chapter Presents the Art of Comedy

DURHAM- The history, method, and inspiration behind crafting jokes served as the topic of an August 14, 2021, panel discussion featuring the work of North Carolina-based comedians Jon Champion and Darian “DWissh” Tedder. SLIPPAGE,  located on the campus of Duke University, served as the location for the event, sponsored by the Theta chapter of Gamma Xi Phi. The Art of Comedy panel discussion served as the chapter’s Renaissance Conversations, one of the national organization’s signature programs. Gamma Xi Phi chapters throughout the organization present panel discussions with artists who are impacting society and culture.

“In times like this, laughter is crucial to survive and thrive. Theta chapter members wanted to allow members of the community to enjoy an evening as well as understand the process that goes into the art of comedy,” La Toya Hankins, program director of Theta chapter, explained the purpose of the event.

The show opened with brief performances from Champion and DWissh. Champion is a professional stand-up comedian who blends performing nationally, coordinating shows featuring local comedians, and establishing a non-profit WILLJOKE4FOOD that presents comedy shows to raise money for charity organizations. DWissh, a native of Durham, known as the Carolina King of Comedy, has performed throughout the Triangle, including serving as the host for several years of Durham’s Juneteenth event.

Champion and DWissh shared with the audience their thoughts about the impact comedy legends and North Carolina natives Moms Mabley and Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham had on the art of comedy. The two also discussed the necessity of navigating telling jokes that toe the line of being appropriate and how important it is to recover when a joke doesn’t go well. The duo’s comments came during a panel discussion facilitated by Jordyne Blaise, GXP Nominating Committee Chair and Theta chapter member.

Gamma Xi Phi was founded on October 7, 2010, on the campus of Ramapo College. The purpose of the organization is to honor the achievements of artists through fellowship, philanthropy, social justice, and service. Theta Chapter was charted on October 11, 2020, to serve the Research Triangle area.


Tue ‒ Thu: 09am ‒ 07pm
Fri ‒ Mon: 09am ‒ 05pm

Adults: $25
Children & Students free

673 12 Constitution Lane Massillon
781-562-9355, 781-727-6090