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  • Rachel Dratch, best known for “Saturday Night Live,” headlines a New York benefit performance series for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project on Jan. 21, and 22, in Brooklyn, NY.

    the event, “Comedians of New York for Afghan Women Writers,” will feature Dratch in the last of three performances.

    Other performers include Jessica DeBruin, Corinne Fisher, Dawn J. Fraser, Chrissie Gruebel, Tracy Mull, Roopa Singh, and Katie Sullivan.

    “We think nothing of the freedom to blog, tweet, Facebook, and Tumblr every detail of our day. For the women of the AWWP, some of whom literally hide their laptops under their burqas, writing about their lives is an act of incredible bravery. Everyone should hear what they have to say,” said Dratch.

    The AWWP was founded in 2009 by Brooklyn resident and award-winning writer Masha Hamilton. Through the all-volunteer project, accomplished American women writers teach secure online writing workshops to women in Afghanistan.

    Most of these women participate in secret, hiding laptops under burqas or walking hours through Taliban territory to upload their assignments.

    The AWWP has also opened a safe space at an undisclosed location in Kabul where participants gather, write and share stories. Their work is published at awwproject. Visitors from around the world can read it there.

    Proceeds from the Brooklyn event series will benefit the AWWP, helping pay rent on the writers’ secure space in Kabul and providing them with computers and Internet service.

    Female comedians from New York’s premier improvisational stages will read the poetry and prose of AWWP participants. Dratch will headline Sunday 4 PM reading.

    “Women writers in Afghanistan and female improv comics in New York have not shared the same set of challenges. But they are all women who by definition go against the grain, forge creative connections with others, and speak with candor, courage and humor,” says AWWP Executive Director Elisabeth Lehr.

    WHERE: Magic Futurebox, 55 33rd St., 4th floor, Brooklyn NY.

    Jan 21: New York Comedians for Afghan Women (prose reading event) 7-10 PM. Tickets: $50
    Jan 22: New York Comedians for Afghan Women (two poetry reading events); 2 PM and 4 PM. 2 PM show: $30 ($15 with student I.D.) 4 PM show: $40 ($20 with student I.D.) Buy tickets brownpapertickets.
    Information: Lynn Harris; email: lynn@awwproject.org, or call: 917-215-1339.