Mary Kay Has a Posse (MKHP) knows itself — the performers have been taking the stage together for years. “We’ve all grown and changed as performers and as people — so that comes across in our scene work; at least I hope it does!” says ensemble member Jennifer Buddin. “Maybe people still see the same posse of 15 years ago, but we’ve collectively had a lot of life and stage experience in that time, so a lot is familiar but enriched by time. Like wine, but less refined.”

The four women who make up the posse try to keep their jokes fresh, whether or not their audience has seen their act before. “The audience doesn’t always notice but your scene partners sure do,” says Buddin. “I mean … you can only have so many scenes about helicopter moms snorting their kids’ Adderall right?”

So, no-go on too many recylced jokes, but what about joke content — how does the posse make any given audience laugh? It’s all about inside jokes for Buddin: “Every city you perform in has insider info that everyone finds amusing. For Charleston, it’s Mt. Pleasant and Goose Creek. Plug City Name in — insert generalized, socio-cultural characterization for said place — everyone has a good laugh. And I think that’s true for almost any joke that we’re all ‘in on’ together.”

In addition to the wink-wink hilarity at poking fun at your own city, Buddin says that MKHP also is happy to make fun of themselves, “[we] specifically land a lot of jokes on our own white, middle class, women demographic: it’s therapeutic to exercise our joys and woes about ourselves and our culture in a comedic way.”

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