In an effort to bring comedic dialogue around femininity and politics to campus, Callye Bolster ’19 has established Purity Pact, an all-female stand-up and sketch comedy group.  

The club was chartered with the College at the end of last semester. There are already 16 members, all friends and classmates Bolster recruited. She is not planning on holding auditions to expand the group this semester.

Bolster got involved in comedy while she was living in Chicago last summer. While attending various improv and stand up shows, she noticed how male dominated the comedy world is. She wanted to start an all-female group to push against this norm. 

"An all-female group is a political statement in a way," Bolster said. "It gives you license to do more edgy, controversial humor.” 

Purity Pact is one of three student-run comedy groups established within the past year, following the improv group Office Hours and Bowdoin Stand-Up, which is currently the in the process of being chartered. 

“We have a pretty good comedy scene on campus,” said Bolster. “But it's pretty apolitical for the most part. We should talk about things that matter to us outside of Bowdoin, so I'm excited to bring that kind of comedy to campus.” 

Millie Vergara ’19, a member of Purity Pact, recognizes the importance of comedy in current politics and wants to create an environment where students are able to interact with the topic. 

“I think comedy is a really important medium and it's really useful in spreading messages and ideas,” Vergara said.

"I'm excited to have a space for more political comedy on campus, because I feel like, right now, a lot of Americans get their news or at least a good portion of their news from comedy,” Bolster added.

Purity Pact is currently in the midst of writing sketches and skits, most of which focus on issues of gender and politics. Bolster is hoping to host comedy pub nights on campus beginning at the end of the month. 

"There's definitely a strong theme around gender that is coming up a lot in the context of campus, but also in bigger ways,” said Bolster. “Because we are an all-female group, that definitely comes up a lot, but I do think that we'll move beyond that as time goes on." 

Ultimately, Bolster hopes that creating Purity Pact will give women on campus a platform to share their stories, thoughts, and feelings in a humorous manner. 

“I think that this is going to be another way … that signals to first-year women that [Bowdoin] is a place where women's voices matter and where they are listened to and where women are funny,” said Bolster. “A lot of people don't come from places where that is the case."