NEW YORK — The idea was simple but novel: Take one picture of as many women in New York City’s varied comedy scenes as possible.
And so on Saturday afternoon, despite the cold and rain, more than 200 female comedians gathered to have their photo taken together at a performance space in Brooklyn.
Amid a festive, buzzing energy, some of the comedians were in formal wear and extravagant makeup, while a few were in full costume (an elderly woman with a walker, a Vine star with painted-on eyeglasses and crab claw hands).
The motley looks could have come from the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover.
Balanced on a stepladder in front of the risers of women, the photographer Mindy Tucker paused to reflect on the moment.
“I’ve been in comedy a long time, and this has never happened before,” she said as the room cheered.
The photo was the brainchild of Jessica Delfino, a New York comedian and founder of the annual New York Funny Songs Fest.
She was inspired by a private Facebook group for female comedians in the city.
“There’s a protective kind of environment,” Delfino said of the group. “We can talk very frankly about things that are irritating to women in comedy, or are just funny. I love the community. And I said to myself, ‘It would be great to be able to take all these women and get them together.’”
In March, she brought her idea for the group photo to Tucker, who has been documenting the comedy scene in New York since 2008.
“She’s very valued in the community, and when she says for people to show up somewhere at a certain time, they do,” Delfino said.
The project immediately appealed to Tucker, whose annual Year in Comedy photo project can be seen at the Creek and the Cave in Queens.
“There’s a power in the fact that that many women came together and worked on a project,” Tucker said. “We shot it the way that we shot it specifically because it’s quite obviously all in one frame. Everyone’s there at the same time.”
As female-driven comedies have become increasingly popular in Hollywood, turning Amy Schumer and other women into bankable stars, there’s been a ground-level push to support developing female comics.
The actress-director Elizabeth Banks’ new video website, WhoHaHa.com, focuses partly on promoting up-and-coming women, while Fox’s new female-led sketch show, “Party Over Here,” features rising comedians who developed in New York’s sketch and improv scenes.
At the same time, nurturing women in comedy has become of particular interest to a younger generation.
Selena Coppock, a comic who cofounded the private Facebook group with Katie Compa, said, “Usually you’re the only woman” in a standup show,” she explained after the photo. “It’s like nine men, one woman. So it was really hard for us to even know each other, or collaborate, or network.”
The strength of the community has also led to change in the male-dominated comedy scene.
As Buzzfeed reported in January, private Facebook groups have become places where women could share information on sexist practices or inappropriate behavior in comedy scenes around the country.
“Women openly talk about things that sort of happen to them in the community, whether it’s breakups or somebody being too sexual with them,” said Chemda Khalili, co-host of the popular podcast “Keith and the Girl,” who also appeared in the photo.
“We trust that no one’s going to judge each other and that no one’s going to take the information elsewhere, and that feels good. It’s something to turn to that you know is there, even when you don’t need it.”
The photo shoot was an opportunity to socialize and make contacts in person. The setting was Littlefield, the Brooklyn home to regular comedy shows like Night Train and Punderdome 3000.
The assembled comics, though little known beyond the city’s stages, represented the wide range of performance today, from stand-up and improv to Vine videos and podcasting.
There were also bookers, directors and other professionals in the industry.
Using the hashtag #WomenInComedy2016, comedians who couldn’t attend contributed their photos on Instagram, with “The Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead, NPR host and comedian Ophira Eisenberg and others submitting from afar. (Some 340 RSVP’d, and about 215 showed up.)
As yet, the organizers haven’t decided where, if at all, the photo will be displayed.
“Our idea was just, ‘let’s take the picture,’ ” Delfino said, adding, “Then we’ll see what happens.”