Franklin County 4-H launching stand-up comedy club

Staff Writer
Published: 2/21/2020 5:25:39 PM
Modified: 2/21/2020 5:25:25 PM

The Franklin County 4-H program is teaming up with the Bear Country radio station to start a Stand-Up Comedy 4-H Club, and is offering an information session on Saturday.

Interested youth ages 12 to 18 and their parents/guardians are welcome to attend the information session from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Montague Public Safety building, 180 Turnpike Road. No registration is required.

Educator Tom Waskiewicz of the University of Massachusetts Amherst 4-H Extension, where the local chapter of the program is based, explained the Stand-Up Comedy 4-H Club started as most clubs do.

“The club leader, in this case, Jennifer Myszkowski, approached us,” Waskiewicz said. Myszkowski, herself a comedian, also hosts a weekly radio show on Bear Country. “She asked us about doing a stand-up comedy club, and a big part of 4-H is public speaking, so it fit.”

Students will learn the basics of storytelling, become comfortable speaking on stage and in front of an audience, and develop a five-minute set suitable for auditioning. In preparation, students will also develop clear articulation and engaging presentation styles, learn how to assess audiences, and practice use of visuals and composition skills.

Waskiewicz said the stand-up club will be the 19th 4-H club in Franklin County, which cover a wide range in focuses such as sewing, robotics and agriculture.

“We’re seeing this resurgence, I think, because of the ‘back to the land’ movement — not that we’re movers and shakers in that, because we’ve been doing this since 1902,” Waskiewicz noted. “But people want to be part of a strong community, whether it be in agriculture, egg hatching or other focuses.”

In the case of the Stand-Up Comedy 4-H Club, he said he sees the benefit of providing young people with skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

“They’re going to learn confidence, leadership, how to support one another,” he said. “If someone goes into the field that’s great, but if not this is one of a repertoire of skills they’ll have.”

Going forward, the new club plans to meet at the Bear Country radio station, at 81 Woodard Road in Greenfield, on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon. For additional information, call the 4-H office at 413-545-0611.


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