Joey Richards (they/them) is a musician and stand-up comedian interested in transnational practices of stand-up comedy and what it means to laugh together. Their first one-person show, Breaking Up With Jesus, debuted in the United States 9-12 December 2021 at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC – Chapel Hill). Grounded in small-town Georgia, U.S.A. and blending comedy and tragedy, the show tells the story of how religion affects family, struggles with gender and sexuality, and issues of depression and anxiety.
In 2021, Joey co-curated the prelude exhibition for the North American debut of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory at UNC – Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall.
Joey is currently a doctoral student and teaching fellow at UNC – Chapel Hill concentrating (really concentrating) on Performance Studies. They have performed stand-up and improv comedy across the United States from D.C. to Utah to Colorado to California to North Carolina to the New South Comedy Festival in Greenville, South Carolina. They examine the ways in which we use improvisational, amateur, personal, surreal and participatory comedy to create community, challenge dominant narratives and imagine possibilities.