GRRRLS Night starts girls-only open mic at Ale Mary’s in Scranton on July 31
This gives a whole new meaning to “girls’ night out.”
Jess Meoni, founder of the Scranton Zine Fest and Ruthless Zine, is hosting a brand new girls-only performance night called GRRRLS Night at the playfully named pub Ale Mary’s (formerly known as Whistle’s) in downtown Scranton this Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m. With 12 performers booked and another night already planned for Aug. 28, Meoni shared with NEPA Scene her inspiration and motivation behind creating this free all-ages event.
NEPA SCENE: What is GRRRLS Night, and what makes it different from other events in the area?
JESS MEONI: GRRRLS Night is an open mic specifically for female performers, such as poets, comedians, and musicians. The fact that it is only for female performers makes it different.
In addition, the purpose of creating an all-female open mic is to provide a safe space for women to showcase their talents without criticism. I believe this can be a springboard for women to comfortably perform at this open mic, branch out, and take their talents elsewhere, such as other open mics as well.
NS: What inspired you to create this event?
JM: I created the name GRRRLS Night in homage to the early ‘90s feminist punk movement riot grrrl. Riot grrrl bands were about female empowerment.
Also, women came to me with encouragement to start this open mic. These women stated that numerous local open mics were male-dominated, and males at these events had often insulted and sexually harassed female performers. Sadly, in our culture, we have become desensitized to sexist behavior; therefore, we blindly accept it.
NS: Where do you see this going?
JM: I plan to make this a regularly occurring event, possibly monthly, at Ale Mary’s. I don’t want to have to charge a cover, so if people continuously patron Ale Mary’s on open mics, I will be able to keep it free of admission.
NS: How can women sign up for the next event?
I am also accepting poetry submissions from female writers for Ruthless Zine. You may also e-mail me submissions.
Listen to Episode 33 of the NEPA Scene Podcast for a more in-depth discussion of GRRRLS Night with Meoni and poet Alicia Kulick.