Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre

Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has affordable, comedy shows seven nights a week in NYC and LA. Watch the best improv, sketch and standup in the country. Our original comedy video productions have garnered the national spotlight. We also run the first nationally accredited improv and sketch comedy school in the country. For information on our courses, visit the Training Center.

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Refinery 29 names UCB performers on list of unique "slashies"


Refinery 29
May 14, 2013
10 Girls Who Could Be The Next Lena Dunham
by Leila Brillson

Of course, the nature of Lena Dunham is that she's a breath of fresh air, a unique presence in a predominantly male industry — an outlier. But in a recent R29 editorial meeting, our London editor referred to a group of "slashies," a term for those who professionally blur boundaries, like a model-slash-actress or a writer-slash-director. And, whether she isn't your cup of tea or if you are firmly in Camp Dunham (we happen to be the latter), Lena Dunham is the most recognizable example of a young, female actress-slash-writer-director working today. Her success, plus the immense critical conversation she has inspired, has led to script execs beginning to think of shows with pitches that include "women," "New York," "real," "sex," and "funny" in the description.

With that in mind, here are 10 other ladies (two of whom work together) who are just as unique as Dunham, but still have that "slashie" quality. They also aren't just actresses but comedians, writers, directors, and cinematographers, each one following (err, or not following) in the groundbreaking footsteps of a certain "voice of her generation."

So, these gals might not be the next Lena Dunham, so to speak, but perhaps the next gal we'll all be talking about, not only because she gets us, but because she can really, truly do it all.

Kate McKinnon, 29
Known talents:
Sketch actress, writer, SNL cast member, killer Ellen impersonator
Known collaborators: The cast of SNL
If anyone has been catching the most recent season of SNL, they'd see the bright, slapstick-ready McKinnon, who has a Wiig-esque ability to fit into any role, at any age, and make it hilarious. Like many (literally, many) of her SNL compatriots, McKinnon came from the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre and spent four years writing and performing on Logo's The Big Gay Sketch Show. Oh, yeah, there's this, too: McKinnon is the first openly lesbian cast member of SNL.

Zoe Lister-Jones

Jenny Slate, 31
Known talents:
Actress, improv pro, writer, published author
Known collaborators: Lena Dunham, Marcel The Shell
Okay, let's get this out of the way: Slate is Marcel The Shell. Yep, that's her amazing voice that made you fall in love with one of the best viral videos ever. In fact, it helped land her a single season role on Saturday Night Live, but her contract wasn't renewed (some may think it's because she dropped the F-bomb on live TV). But that didn't slow Slate, who has appeared on Bored To Death, Bob's Burgers, and Parks and Recreation, while lending her voice talents to The Lorax. Oh, and fittingly, Slate has played opposite Dunham in Girls — as Hannah Horvath's obnoxious, successful rival.

Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, 27 and unknown
Known talents:
Sketch comedy, writers, directors, and actors in their own show, artist and author (Abbi)
Known collaborators: Amy Poehler
So, yes, we are putting these two together, but both Glazer and Jacobson are the brains behind Broad City, a web series that has not only been picked up by FX to make into a larger show in the style of Louie, but it's being produced by fellow awesome-lady Amy Poehler. The show is — surprise, surprise — about girls in New York, but the Glazer/Jacobson product is less frantic and a little more light-hearted than Dunham's take. Oh, and you've already seen their work: The super-duper viral "S*** New Yorkers Say" was all Glazer.

Issa Rae

Maggie Carey

Amy Seimetz

Lake Bell

Greta Gerwig