That’s when the space in Harvard Square opened. “I’m so excited,” says Jenkins. “It really seems like this is where we’ve always belonged.”
The opportunity to return to the neighborhood where she started and had created so many memories was too much for Jenkins to pass up. “Walking through Harvard Yard to the club every night,” says Jenkins, “Colin Jost across the street from school to do a set, Dan Mintz, [the voice of] Tina from ‘Bob’s Burgers’, from the [Harvard] Lampoon building during the break and making a set. The Comedy Studio really grew as part of the Harvard Square community. “
The studio has not presented shows in a permanent home since March 13, 2020, its last night at Bow Market. He has sponsored weekly shows at Vera’s in Somerville since late June and has also produced student exhibits at The Rockwell in Davis Square. According to the studio’s chief operating officer, comedian Kathe Farris, plans for the club’s return were still in flux until the new lease was signed. “It was all really ambiguous,” he says, “so we started looking out of curiosity to see if things ticked certain boxes. And this just came up. “
The new place comes with some logistical advantages. It will be at The Abbot, the wedge-shaped building at Brattle and John F. Kennedy streets. The basement space will be accessible from the JFK street side of the building and will allow the studio to nearly double its previous capacity, from around 100 seats to around 185. Jenkins and Farris hope that will mean more foot traffic and head shows. poster.
“The studio will continue to be known as an incubator for new talent,” says Farris. “At the same time, we will be doing bigger shows and more consistent weekend shows. And that will also bring in larger audiences. And then we have the whole school aspect, where we will have student displays and classes there. “
The Studio has produced a number of well-known comics over the years, and many of them, like Gary Gulman and Eugene Mirman, return for surprise visits. Jenkins hopes those surprises will continue and, with more seats, he would like to put some of that talent on the official schedule. “We can do a bigger show instead of an unannounced visit,” he says. “So we can advertise Eugene Mirman, or Brendon Small doing a seminar or someone doing a book signing. That makes it scalable. “
Jenkins used to joke about the attic space in Hong Kong, which felt like he was throwing some kind of secret party. Similarly, at Bow Market, he had noticed that the club was somewhat hidden in a courtyard on the second floor of a retail space. In keeping with that spirit, he jokes that the new club is literally underground. “The important thing for me when looking for a location,” he says, “is that it had to be well hidden and not on the ground floor.”
There is still much left to do. Work has yet to begin to turn the space into something that actually looks like a club. The shows will continue at Vera’s, a Union Square restaurant, and The Rockwell until the new space opens, which, according to Farris, will allow time to experiment with different types of shows the studio could eventually put on.
The approximate goal to open the new Comedy Studio is September 2022, but there are no shows officially on the books for the space, just some brainstorming. “We have let some of our alumni know that the move is happening,” says Jenkins. “So there will be people who have not had visitors and people who started with us doing special programs and so on, but it is too early for the dates and times.”
Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at email@example.com.