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Comedians, musicians team up to support shelter dogs

As downpours and round two of summer session classes threaten to bog down students' spirits, those who have stuck around the hills can find solace in laughter — and air conditioning.

Student stand-up comedy group Blue Pencil Comedy is teaming up with musical guest Dirty Thumbs and Friends of the Shelter Dogs to put on a summer set at Donkey Coffee and Espresso — its first ever in the coffee house.

The show is the latest entry in Donkey’s quarterly, monthlong benefit series. All proceeds and admissions will be donated to Shelter Dogs, an Athens-area group dedicated to the welfare and rescue of dogs from the Athens County Dog Shelter.

Hannah Ticoras, a junior studying English and a comedian in Blue Pencil Comedy, will co-host the event with Troy Gregorino, Donkey’s booking agent. Stand-up members featured will include Matt Albani, Zac Oberg and graduate student Emily Harper, among others.

Gregorino said he’s especially excited for the show because he has always wanted to involve comedy in one of the store’s benefit shows.

“I’m actually surprised that there are so many folk will be around to do this in one student organization,” Gregorino said. “But, it looks like the stars aligned, and they’re into it to help with the cause.”

Aside from helping the dogs that are rescued by Shelter Dogs, the show will also benefit the comedians. Many will travel back to Athens for the opportunity to try out the new material they’ve concocted since Spring Semester’s last Blue Pencil show.

Albani, a sophomore studying journalism, said he looks forward to once again performing among students his age, something that has been a rare occurrence as he’s spent his summer in Youngstown, Ohio.

“It’s been really weird,” Albani said. “When I went to Athens, there were kids my age doing stand-up. Around here there are 30-40 year olds doing stand-up, so my material has transitioned a lot.”

Ticoras said she hopes the event opens the door to future opportunities to combine the success of Donkey’s open mic night with what Blue Pencil has experienced in Baker University Center.

“You feel more comfortable when you’re in Donkey,” Ticoras said. “When you’re performing in Baker you just feel sort of sterile and weird. Aesthetically, Donkey’s more exciting.”

If You Go:

What: Blue Pencil Comedy and Dirty Thumbs

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Donkey Coffee & Espresso, 17 1/2 W. Washington St.

Admission: $3

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