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LESBIAN COMEDIAN TO PERFORM AT JUNIATA COLLEGE

(Posted March 2, 2001)

Suzanne Westenhoefer, a comedian whose gay and lesbian-centered material has resulted in appearances on her own HBO comedy special and other television appearances, will perform at 7 p.m., March 17 in Oller Hall on the Juniata College campus, followed by a dance after the performance in the Ellis College Center ballroom.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for Juniata College employees and their spouses, and $5 for Juniata students. Ticket prices include admission to the dance. Call for tickets at (814) 641-3333, or go online at www.juniata.edu/jcas.

Westenhoefer’s comedy is intended for adults, due to some use of profanity and frank discussions of sexuality.

"Juniata College has always tried to offer a supportive environment for students regardless of race, gender or sexuality," says Diane Bargiel, assistant professor of music and director of the Juniata College Artist Series. "It seems to be the right time to sponsor an event that would help our students know there is a whole world out there that is ready to support them."

In addition to her performance, Westenhoefer will visit class sessions March 16. She will visit a course on adolescent development at noon in 302 Good Hall. She also will visit an intercultural communications course at 2 p.m. and a storytelling course at 3:30 p.m. Both courses are in 202 Good Hall and are taught by Grace Fala, associate professor of communication. Later, at 5 p.m., Westenhoefer will hold an informal question and answer session with members of the campus group Alternate Ways of Loving (AWOL).

Westenhoefer was the first openly lesbian comedian to star in an HBO comedy special. She also appears regularly on such shows as "Caroline’s Comedy Hour," "Evening at the Improv" and "Politically Incorrect." She also appears regularly on the Comedy Central cable network.

Westenhoefer is a Pennsylvania native who grew up in Columbia in Lancaster County. Currently, she splits time between residences in Los Angeles, Calif. and Columbus, Ohio. She performs more than 100 live comedy dates per year across the country. The comedian also has two comedy albums available on CD: "Nothing in My Closet but My Clothes" and "I’m Not Cindy Brady."

Westenhoefer’s comedy focuses on her life experiences as an out lesbian, but much of her comedy appeals across gender and class lines. Her ruminations on television, acting, dating and Home Depots will be familiar and funny to all audiences. She also talks extensively about her family, including her sister, also a lesbian, and her mother, who still resides in Pennsylvania.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.