Say what? College staff part of show at The Brink

Stephanie Riedel, Staff Writer

We all know the “that’s what she said!” joke, where you use the punchline to turn any innocent comment into a sexual innuendo and everyone laughs. Or, more likely, they don’t.

In Madison, however, “That’s What She Said” is an all women story-share show that’s changing lives, from the women who get up to perform to the ever-growing audience that comes to the shows.

The show has its roots at Madison College, with staff members Karen Saari and Miranda Hawk, who came up with the idea along with Molly Vanderlin.

As Saari Remembers, “A few of us were hanging around drinking wine, wishing we had more time for our own creative endeavors, thinking we were hilarious and we joked about coming up with a package of one-woman shows starring us. At that time, one of us was a newlywed, one person was newly divorced with two kids and one [Saari] was a brand new mom. From that idea, Molly took the ball and ran with it, invited more women on board and created TTWSS. She made it happen.”

And Vanderlin did “make it happen.” Nov. 12 and 13 marks the show’s tenth installment since it was thought up back in 2011. Eight multi-generational women will be performing, including Karen Saari and Miranda Hawk. All stories will be based on the theme of “head noise.”

Jo Chalhoub, one of the women performing says, “Head noise to me is an ever-changing beast. It never goes away and it can be relentlessly detrimental, but you also have the power to harness it and mold it into something that can be helpful and productive.”

With so many women writing about the same topic, you’d think the stories would be similar, but Vanderlin says that’s just not the case.

“That is one of the things I always worry about with these shows, but time and time again, we see different women telling very different stories based on the same theme, and Head Noise is no exception,“ Vanderlin stated.

The show runs two nights at The Brink Lounge, 701 E. Washington Ave: November 12 at 7:30 and November 13 at 8:00. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved at, or purchased at the door.