WarnerMedia and New Cadence Productions are bringing the second annual HA Comedy Festival celebrating “The Art of Comedy” to San Antonio September 17-19. The award-winning festival will include 20 plus shows at 5 venues around San Antonio where all forms of new mainstream comedy will be on display, including stand-up, sketch and film. The Ha Comedy Festival aims to give Latinx performers the spotlight and voice by normalizing their inclusion, while also developing a robust pipeline of new mainstream talent.
The HA Comedy Festival launches just two days after the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is highly celebrated in San Antonio where the majority of the population is Hispanic/Latino. The city’s appreciation of Latino culture industries makes it a natural stage for the Festival. According to the 2020 U.S Census, Texas as a state experienced tremendous growth in the Latino population. Currently every two in five Texans are Latino — putting Latinos at an equal 39% of the state population as whites for the first time in American history.
“The mandate of our company is to empower and showcase the Latino comedic creative community,” said Jeff Valdez and Sol Trujillo, the executive producers of the HA Festival and principals of New Cadence Productions. “Hollywood has 2% Latino inclusion. We are proud to say we have a 92% Latino rate of inclusion.”
Opening night will kick off at the Tobin Center Plaza with a live panel and premiere screening of select clips from the upcoming HBO Max special, Comedy Chingonas. Filmed at the inaugural HA Comedy Fest in 2020, Comedy Chingonas features an all-Latina cast that included Latina comedians Luz Pazos, Vanessa Gonzalez, Debbie Gutierrez, Carmen Carrera, Xazmin Garza, Jill Michele Meleán, Crist Guzman and Mariannette LaPuppet. This event is hosted by Carmen Lynch and Luz Pazos and is free to the public The panel will be followed by a Fresh Faces 2021 performance at The Anacacho Room at the St. Anthony Hotel with the newest and freshest voices in comedy from around the country, including Jack Assadourian, Renee Santos, Nancy Lee, Cody Woods, Reece Muniz, Rick Izquieta, Dave Jay, Abi Sanchez, Chris Tellez, Cisco Duran, James Camacho, Rafi Gonzalez and Rojo Perez. Tickets will be sold on Eventbrite. Friday night will also include two Latino Comedy Showcases at comedy club Jokesters 22 at 8 or 10 p.m. Tickets on sale through Jokesters 22 website or at the door. At midnight, the After Midnight open mic for comedians invited to the festival will be held at The Anacacho at the St. Anthony. This event is free to the public.
Saturday is packed with even more comedy, including “The Garcias” Select Clips Premiere and Cast Panel at the Tobin Center Plaza. The panel will feature members of the original cast of “The Brothers Garcia” who are back as “The Garcias” in the reboot for HBO Max. Later that evening at the Tobin Center Plaza and Theater is the inaugural Equal Footing Film Festival. The Equal Footing Film Festival will feature 10 short comedic films from diverse female filmmakers. The Equal Footing Film Festival is one of the first ever all-female diverse film festivals and will celebrate emerging female talent in the comedy genre. A clip from the winning film will be featured on the HBO Max comedy special created from The Best of the Fest showcase. The Equal Footing Film Festival in association with the HA Festival: The Art of Comedy will take place on September 18-19, 2021 at the Tobin Center Plaza and Theater. Both of these events are free to the public.
The night will include Comedy Chingonas 2021 hosted by comedian and Tik Tok star Carmen Lynch, featuring comics like Renee Santos and Luz Pazos at The Anacacho at the St. Anthony. Also Saturday night at the Lila Cockrell Theatre will be a double billing — first Fresh Faces 2021 hosted by Emilio Rivera (Mayans MC and Sons of Anarchy star) and then a reunion of the top Fresh Faces from the 2020 HA Comedy Festival called Fresh Faces 2020 “On Their Way” hosted by comedian Paul Rodriguez. Tickets for all Lila Cockrell shows are available through Ticketmaster.
Two comedy showcases will occur at Jokesters 22 comedy club at 8 and 10 p.m. At 9 p.m. The Veteranos of Latino Comedy headliner show will happen at The Anacacho at the St. Anthony, with host Rick Gutierrez and featuring Chris “Crazy Legs” Fonseca, Nick Guerra, Fabrizio Copano and Carmen Lynch will be featured. To top off Saturday night the After Midnight open mic begins at 12 a.m. This event is free to the public.
Sunday includes the announcement of the winners of the Equal Footing Film Festival and a replay of all films for the audience to enjoy at 3 p.m. at the Tobin Center Plaza. There are also two TV tapings of The Best of the Fest at the Lila Cockrell Theatre at 5 and 8 p.m. featuring comedic talents of Chingo Bling, Jessica Keenan, Steve Trevino, Carlos Santos, Lisa Alvarado and new finds Dave Jay and Renee Santos. Two of the 2020 Fresh Faces comics will be selected to get their first TV break and also appear on the Best of the Fest taping on Sunday. The Best of the Fest will include guest hosts Paul Rodriguez, Emilio Rivera (Mayans MC and Sons of Anarchy star), a surprise appearance by an alum of the famed sketch troupe The Second City, members of the original cast of The Brothers Garcia and Paulina Chávez star of The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia. Additional celebs are soon to be announced.
Last year’s HA Comedy Festival was award-winning and critically acclaimed. The 2020 Festival lasted for three days in February 2020 at the scenic San Antonio Riverwalk area and included 22 live comedy shows. It brought to life a new mainstream comedy festival featuring a universally funny lineup of a plethora of Latinx talent, including Gina Brillon, Mark Viera and was hosted by Anjelah Johnson. The festival concluded with the taping of the critically acclaimed stand-up special, HA: The Art of Comedy, which is currently available to stream on HBO Max.
Most performances require ticket purchases, but the HA Festival will also feature free and discounted shows to the public. For the full schedule and tickets, visit hacomedyfest.com.
ABOUT NEW CADENCE PRODUCTIONS
NCP is an English-language content creation studio founded by Sol Trujillo and Jeff Valdez. It was created for Latino/a creatives to tell their stories that entertain and inspire all audiences. NCP celebrates the Latino market as “The New Mainstream” and are committed to advancing its cadence and full inclusion across Hollywood and society. Our content is NON-MONOLITHIC, UNIVERSAL, ASPIRATIONAL and FAMILY-CENTRIC.