Lara Rae (born 1963 in Glasgow, Scotland), formerly known as Al Rae, is a Canadian comedian, best known as the longtime artistic director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival[1] and as a performer on the CBC Radio One comedy series The Debaters.

Lara Rae
BornAl Rae
1963 (age 57–58)
Glasgow, Scotland
OccupationComedian, television and radio writer
NationalityCanadian
Period1980s-present
Notable worksLittle Mosque on the Prairie, The Debaters

She has also been a writer for radio and television, including on Blackfly,[2] Big Sound,[2] Little Mosque on the Prairie,[2] What a Week, Definitely Not the Opera[3] and Monsoon House.[4] She has been a three-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee and a Gemini Award nominee for her work on Little Mosque.[5]

Rae started as half of the Toronto-based comedy duo Al & George with George Westerholm.[6] After the duo broke up in 1993, Rae moved to Winnipeg and began working as a solo standup comedian.[7] She wrote the play How Do You Know When You're Done?, a fictionalized account of their creative tensions and breakup which premiered at the Tim Sims Playhouse in 1999,[8] and was a founder of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival in 2002.[7]

In 2013, while still known as Al and presenting as male, Rae came out as gay at age 49.[2] She came out as transgender in October 2015.[9] At the time of her announcement, she was working as an assistant director on a stage production of Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II in Winnipeg.[1] In November, she made her first on-stage appearance as a comedian since beginning her gender transition, as part of the Empow(HER)ment comedy show in Winnipeg.[7]

She is an instructor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b "Gender politics: Autobiographical show a step on Rae's journey". Winnipeg Free Press, October 1, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Funny man Al Rae on coming out at 49". Daily Xtra, August 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "Improvising success". Toronto Star, May 29, 1997.
  4. ^ "Winnipeg festival sends some comic relief our way". Regina Leader-Post, April 4, 2013.
  5. ^ "Small-screen stars descend upon Saskatchewan". Winnipeg Free Press, October 27, 2007.
  6. ^ "Take one funny guy, add a guitar, stir and..." Winnipeg Free Press, March 30, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "A laughing matter". Winnipeg Free Press, November 26, 2015.
  8. ^ "When two comics is one comic too many: New show looks at nasty break-up of fictional comedy duo". Toronto Star, March 25, 1999.
  9. ^ "Becoming Lara: Winnipeg comedian Al Rae transitions to a woman". CBC News, October 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Lara Rae, empowering others through comedy and cooking". University of Winnipeg. 8 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.