First Floodwater Comedy Festival descends

BY DEVYN YOUNG | APRIL 16, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Floodwater Comedy Festival will take place in downtown Iowa City tonight through Sunday, April 19th. The festival aims at presenting all forms of comedy, including video shorts, readings, stand-up, improv, and more. The co-founders of the festival hope that everyone has a good time and enjoys what the festival offers them.

Annie Levitz, a University of Iowa senior who is also the co-founder and co-producer of Floodwater, speaks about the beginnings of the project and how she would like to see it grow.

Multimedia compiled and edited by Lily Abromeit

A lot can happen in a year. For Annie Levitz and Kristine Moffitt, this year brought them something they never saw coming: a comedy festival.

The first Floodwater Comedy Festival will take over downtown Iowa City starting tonight and running through April 19. The 19 events will take place at eight locations, from the Blue Moose to the  Theater Building.

Annie Levitz and Kristine Moffitt, the cofounders of the event, said the festival will spotlight several different types of comedy.

“When we were talking at our first meeting, we talked about how we wanted to expand it further … we wanted to do standup, improv, and writing as well,” Moffitt said. “We know that there is a great community of standup comedians and improv groups in Iowa City. We really just wanted to support them, showcase them.”

The two got their funding through Indigogo in early March. Since then, the production team of Floodwater Comedy has been hard at work putting together a final lineup and perfecting details.

“It’s been a very challenging process,” Moffitt said. “[Levitz and I] have a history in arts management, but not this specific kind, so every new thing we do is a learning process. We’ve brought on a lot of team members, and they’ve been incredibly helpful.”

One special staffer is Rubina Vidal, who worked to decide which writing submissions would make it into the festival.

“One set of submissions were the reading submissions,” Vidal said. “There were some guidelines to follow; we went through them and then ultimately found who would be a good pick for our time slot and finding a diverse group of work to display.” 

With all the effort that went into finding acts for the festival, there will be a wide range of material for people to see.

One of the comedians featured is local favorite Megan Gogerty.

“Megan is doing a talk about women in comedy and the history of women in comedy,” Levitz said. “There’s a lot of educational parts of our festival, and this is something you can’t find anywhere else. Megan is hysterical, and amazing, and makes things very comprehensive at the same time. It’s very exciting, and I’m glad we get to share that with our community.”

All three members of the production team said they hope audiences do more than laugh.

“[The festival] will show what a diverse voice comedy is,” Levitz said. “They’re in store for such a good time, and we’re so excited, and such a community is going to be built around this festival.”

Floodwater Comedy Festival
When: Today through April 19
Where: Various locations around Iowa City
Admission: $0 to $25; prices vary. Tickets available online at floodwatercomedyfest.com as well as at the door of events.

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