Ruby Willmann: Teaching to Lead

August 11, 2017

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

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