This month, Planned Parenthood of Illinois will hold its fourth annual Generations Celebration. We will be honoring longtime PPIL supporters the Newton/Weinberg Family and
|SNL Writer Katie Rich|
Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich. We are also excited to have SNL cast member, "Weekend Update" co-anchor, and former PPIL staff member Cecily Strong as our special guest.
Meet Katie Rich, our 2014 Margaret Wiley Carr Bright
A native Illinoisan and staff writer for Saturday Night Live, Katie Rich received
her BS from Northwestern University and traveled with The Second City Touring
Company for five years. She was then promoted to the Second City Mainstage
where she wrote and performed three reviews, including 2012's 100th review in
which she performed an auction-themed scene that raised over $32,000 for
Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
Her solo work has been seen at iO West, TBS’ Just for Laughs
Festival, and WBEZ’s The Paper Machete. Commercial credits include: Discover
Card, Walmart, Eckridge, Sonic Drive-in, Lexus, and Radio Shack. Movie credits
include: Martin Short’s Let Freedom Hum,
Harold Ramis’ The Ice Harvest, and
David Rosenthal’s Janie Jones. She
can be seen in the upcoming feature film Bad
Johnson with Nick Thune.
Q: How did you come up
with the idea to do an auction scene that would raise money for PPIL?
I had been trying to write a scene that addressed the
ongoing war on women’s rights and it was a difficult task. Everything I wrote
sounded too preachy or was too straightforward instead of being satirical. We
were asked to come up with a political sketch, and I had the idea of lampooning
Super PACs through an auctioning off of an improv scene. We tried it for a few
shows and found that the audience was very willing to part with their money to
get their improv suggestion heard, and we raised, like $400 in the first week.
I hadn’t even thought that would happen so I hadn’t thought at all about having
any money go [to an organization]. But it was like, duh, all the money should
go to Planned Parenthood and thus do more good than a mere joke or two could
Q: Did you get any negative feedback from the audience when they were
told the money would be going to Planned Parenthood?
|Join us on April 23 at the |
Navy Pier Grand Ballroom.
For the most part, no. But we had a couple people (who
hadn't even given any money) walk out. The good thing was, there was nothing they
could do about it – we had been very upfront that any money they gave us we
Q: Why are
reproductive rights important to you and why do you support Planned Parenthood?
I was lucky enough to have a mother and friends and teachers
who supported reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood. I was given the
education and access to the correct information when it comes to my body. Not
all women have that luxury, and I want to change that.
Q: What do you hope to
do to engage other young women on this issue?
I want folks to know that they can come up with inventive
ways to stand up for what they believe in. You can combine what you love and
what you want to fight for.
Q: Who are your
comedic and/or activist role models?
|Katie Rich (l), PPIL President & CEO Carole Brite (r), and |
Second City cast are all smiles after Rich's
sketch raised over $32,000 for Planned Parenthood.
Sarah Silverman always nails it with her PSAs and her
ability to take very heavy things and make them accessible and funny. Carole
Brite and Sarah Weddington are so amazing to me. If I think about those women
too much my eyes well up from sheer admiration. I also love how Amy Poehler has
made a career out of being positive and supportive of people.
Q: Last year’s Bright
Horizon’s Award Honoree, Sandra Fluke, is running for state senate in
California. Do you think this award could launch your political career?
I guess I could go the Al Franken route. But I swear too
much in public to be a politician.
Q: Now that you’re a
New Yorker, is there anything you miss about living in Chicago?
I'm not a New Yorker. I'll always be a Chicagoan. But if I
had to pick something I really miss not having to spend the majority of my
income on an apartment the size of a closet.
2014 Generations Celebration
Buy tickets or become a sponsor
Unable to attend but would like to donate?
RSVP on Facebook
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
VIP Reception: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Main Event & Registration: 6:30 p.m.
Program & Dinner: 7 p.m.
Chicago’s Navy Pier Grand Ballroom
600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL