“Kate Hammer Wants to Be Infemous” Brings Feminism to the Fringe Festival

Hammer Shares Personal Stories That Resonate

  • Kate Hammer performing at the Fringe Festival. Photo Tom Zalatnai

“It’s about the ocean between being a person and being a woman, and my journey swimming those waters,” said Kate Hammer about her show Kate Hammer Wants to Be Infemous , which recently ran at Montreal’s Fringe Festival.

She created Infemous, the comedy night for women and non-binary performers which has been happening once a month since January at the Montreal Improv Space B. She also has a spot on this summer’s Off-Just For Laughs Festival in July.

“You can find the funny in anything,” said Hammer about the balance she strives for in her show. “You can also tackle serious subjects and express a narrative that is healthier than the repressive narratives that we’ve built around certain stereotypes in society.”

During her shows Hammer invites viewers to navigate together through her life, and explores the personal and the intimate through feminism. She dips into her past–distant and recent, –to unearth broader truths.

“Helping people know that they’re allowed to express all parts of themselves,” explained Hammer, “their memories, and their femininity, and their opinions, and not be judgemental of others. I think it’s exactly what Infemous the show does.”

Originally from Ontario, Hammer moved to Montreal after travelling the world for a few years. Now a creative writing student at Concordia, she is part of the city’s theatre and comedy community.

On stage, before diving into her story, Hammer explained that she believes that what is personal is the most universal. Her show’s content is frank, and Hammer looks at difficult events right in the eye, in the hopes of helping the audience sort out their past too.

“[The show is] trying to keep it real each night, cause it’s easy to dissociate from [serious stories],” said Hammer. “[It’s] trying to put yourself on purpose into an uncomfortable memory and living it in front of people because you hope and know that it’s going to affect some people and help them process it too.”

The performance incorporated a lot of physical comedy, and visual elements added to the show. On stage, she changed in and out of clothing, which served to transition into different parts of the show. Hammer wore many colorful bodysuits, and said that she incorporated them into her show as she was writing it.

“It’s a way to break the ice,” she said about the bodysuits. “When you’re dealing with a show about feminism, it’s hard to (…) keep it in context. There’s no subject matter that’s all funny or all serious, so the body suits, and the different types of them and going through the journey of the bodysuits throughout the show, is being able to show the silliness and vulnerability of the piece itself.”

The Montreal Fringe Festival is over, but you can still catch Infemous at the Off-Just For Laughs where she will be performing on July 21. More information at https://www.hahaha.com/en/show/infemous.

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