Comedy show provides safe place for comics and audiences to discuss difficult issues, while raising money for pro-choice organizations

Before Amber Falter was immersed in the Columbus stand-up scene, and before she was a veteran show producer, she booked four comics for an April 2016 benefit show in support of a local pro-choice organization.

“I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, [the four comedians] are still my friends,” Falter recalled.

The show, intended as a one-off, was a success, and friends, notably comedian Pat Deering, suggested she keep doing them. Deering is now a partner in the quarterly Stand Up for Choice shows.

“It's become this really beautiful, comfortable, safe space,” Falter said, adding that there's a growing community that's being built around Stand Up for Choice. “It's not just a quarterly comedy show. It's people being alongside each other. The comedians are honest, and the audience then feels more empowered in their own stories. There's a willingness to be vulnerable, and along with great jokes you're getting difficult personal stories. It's not just about raising money, but also awareness.”

Bridget Denman, Brooke Cartus, Keith Bergman and Samantha Rager will be featured in the Aug. 21 edition, which raises funds for Freedom of Choice Ohio.