A night of comedic activism

An African-American comedy troupe filters current events through a humorous lens.

Joy Dolo Anfinson, (left), bAndy Hilbrands, Kory LaQuess Pullam, John Gebratatose, and Alsa Bruno of the BLACKOUT improv troupe rehearse in the Phoenix Theater on Sunday afternoon. The troupe performs on the third Friday of every month, and their next show is on Friday at 10:30pm.

Joe Sulik

Joy Dolo Anfinson, (left), bAndy Hilbrands, Kory LaQuess Pullam, John Gebratatose, and Alsa Bruno of the BLACKOUT improv troupe rehearse in the Phoenix Theater on Sunday afternoon. The troupe performs on the third Friday of every month, and their next show is on Friday at 10:30pm.

Brenda Tran

In light of recent events at Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct, laughter is the last response that comes to mind. 
 
But on Friday night, Blackout Improv will present, “The Minority Report,” at Mixed Blood Theatre Company, which will address social issues with a humorous twist through creating a dialogue between the audience and cast members, 
 
The idea for Blackout, an African-American comedy troupe, came from Kory LaQuess Pullam. Throughout his career as an actor and comedian, the Texas native wanted to create an avenue for comedians of color. He recruited four other members to help him with his goals: Alsa Bruno, Andy Hilbrands, Joy Dolo Anfinson and John Gebretatose.
 
“If you look at the improv community [and] stand-up comedy — it’s so heavily dominated by white men. … It’s been so much of that for so long that certain people feel intimidated to break in,” LaQuess Pullam said. 
 
The inception of “The Minority Report” came about in September. Taking inspiration from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, “The Minority Report” provides interpretations of current events through a comedic lens. 
 
Although entertainment is the focal point of the show, there is a strong emphasis on representation of audiences often ignored by the predominantly white comedy world.