Q&A: Floodwater Comedy Festival founders

BY DEVYN YOUNG | MARCH 12, 2015 5:00 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Iowa City will soon have a fresh source of laughs. Set to début April 16 through 19, the first Floodwater Comedy Festival recently received its necessary funding — and then some — via the Indie GoGo crowd-funding website. The Daily Iowansat down with UI theater students and the masterminds behind Floodwater, Annie Levitz and Kristine Moffitt.

The Daily Iowan: How were you two inspired to create the Floodwater Comedy Festival?

Kristine Moffitt: This started when Spencer Griffin, who is one of our cofounders and now the executive producer at College Humor in Los Angeles. He was in contact with David McGraw, who is a lecturer in the [UI] Theater Department who I work with a lot and an adviser for this project. Spencer went to David saying he had an idea of a comedic video-shorts festival, and he wanted to work with some students on it.

So David got me connected with Spencer, and I talked to him a little bit about it, and he said, “You know, it’s going to be hard for me to help you every step of the way since I’m not in Iowa City, so I think the best thing you can do is get together with some students, some of the most helpful and organized people you know, and make it happen.” This was last summer.

So I got in contact with Annie, who I have worked with on productions in the Theater Department before, and asked her to co-produce it with me. We talked about how we wanted to expand it further than video shorts: We wanted to do standup, improv, and writing as well, because we know that there is a great community of standup comedians and improv groups in Iowa City, and we’re a writing university; our town is all about that. We wanted to bring in all these different aspects to one festival.

DI: What was the process like to get funding for the festival?

Annie Levitz: We knew right off the bat that we kind of wanted to go the crowd-sourcing route, just because it’s very popular right now and we are a nonprofit. It just seemed like the best way for us to get a jump-start on funding. We decided to use Indie GoGo, and we created a video and got it up there.

DI: What will Floodwater Comedy Festival have in store for Iowa City?

Levitz: So one of our big hopes is to have these community voices we know and love but also to bring in some outside voices and especially minority voices. We want to get everyone in the community different events they can latch onto. For example, we’re doing a kids’ writing workshop, so some members will be teaching them joke-writing, and then they’ll have their own little standup in front of friends and family.

Moffitt: We are two women putting on a comedy festival, and I think it’s sort of a known issue with comedy that there aren’t enough women. Megan Gogerty, a local standup comedian as well as a lecturer at the UI, will give a talk on women in comedy, which we’re super excited about. We want it to not only have showcase opportunities for our local talent, but we want to give them enough opportunities to grow their talent.

DI: What do you hope audiences and participants will get out of the experience?

Levitz: I know this is pretty obvious, but first and foremost we just hope they have a good time, that they enjoy themselves, get some good laughs in, and that they get to experience a lot of our local businesses here. 

Moffitt: We hope that we’re bringing something new to Iowa City, maybe some experiences that our audiences haven’t had before.

Anyone who wants to participate in the festival may still submit applications to perform improvisation and standup through Friday. Video shorts and all forms of comedic writing are due March 30. All of the information needed can be found at floodwatercomedyfest.com.

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.