Ruby Willmann: Teaching to Lead

August 11, 2017


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin

PSA: Win­ter is coming… Actu­al­ly win­ter is pret­ty far away for Austin, but the Out of Bounds Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val is not! Get your pass­es right away for this Labor Day week­end spec­tac­u­lar with improv, standup, sketch, and class­es in all forms of com­e­dy. It runs August 29 to Sep­tem­ber 4th, and the sched­ule is jam packed. The fes­ti­val’s Exec­u­tive Pro­duc­er Ruby Will­mann promis­es us there’s some­thing for everyone’s sched­ule and tastes. 

One of Austin’s few uni­corns, Ruby Will­mann was both born and raised in our big lit­tle town, and though she cur­rent­ly resides in Los Ange­les, swears she’ll be back soon. 

Willmann’s com­e­dy career was launched when, short­ly after her return from a deploy­ment with Ameri­corps, she found her­self in the audi­ence at the Austin (and world) famous Par­al­lel­o­gramophono­graph improv show. (Also known as Pgraph, cre­at­ed and run by Com­e­dy Wham alum Roy Janik.) A love affair with improv was born, and the very next day she start­ed tak­ing class­es at The Hide­out The­atre and found the begin­nings of her new local com­e­dy family. 

With years of his­to­ry in slam poet­ry, Will­mann already had an estab­lished con­nec­tion with the stage. Her pas­sion for teach­ing and cre­ation soon took her behind the scenes, assist­ing in lead­ing class­es and pro­vid­ing guid­ance and instruc­tion to new groups of performers. 

When an oppor­tu­ni­ty to take part in orga­niz­ing and run­ning Out of Bounds Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val came her way, Will­mann jumped on it, see­ing yet anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty to help grow the Austin com­e­dy and improv scene. She quick­ly turned her first posi­tion in fes­ti­val hos­pi­tal­i­ty into Pro­duc­er and now two con­sec­u­tive years as Exec­u­tive Pro­duc­er of Out of Bounds. She has a seem­ing­ly nev­er end­ing dri­ve to empow­er and cel­e­brate the local per­for­mance com­mu­ni­ty, and gen­er­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for any­one that wants to get their start or hone and build their careers. 

Willmann’s ini­tia­tive and excite­ment are addic­tive, and you can’t help but get drawn into the vision of the future she wants to help deliv­er for come­di­ans and for per­for­mance in Austin. Com­e­dy Wham was cre­at­ed to shine a spot­light on the local scene, and in Ruby Will­mann we absolute­ly found a kin­dred spirit. 

What­ev­er your plans are for the upcom­ing Labor Day week­end, can­cel them, and get out to Out of Bounds Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val. Stay up to date with the fes­ti­val on Twit­ter and Face­book, and fol­low Ruby Will­mann; she’s going (and grow­ing) places, and wants to take you there with her.

Ruby Willmann