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Organic, Homegrown Improv: A Floodwater Comedy Festival Show

by Krystin Langer
Photos by Gabby Estlund

Photo by Gabby Estlund

Photo by Gabby Estlund

Last Friday at 8 p.m hoards of college students filled the tiny basement room at Public Space One in anticipation to see one of the first acts of the comedy-filled weekend hosted by Floodwater. The Floodwater Festival in Iowa City promises a weekend full of laughs and a sense of community, which was unmistakably present in the atmosphere during the Organic, Homegrown Improv Show.

An all female student group named Janice was the first to seize the stage wearing matching ensembles. They started off their opening act by asking the audience to yell words out to decide the direction of their performance. “Toothbrush,” shouts one enthusiastic spectator and Janice erupts into a flawlessly executed skit involving social climbing teenagers that remove their teeth in a ploy to gain idolization from the clique. The simple awkwardness throughout the performance is similar to the awkward wit shown on “The Office.” It was hilariously absurd and the audience was enthralled.

The next act that performed was called PaperBack Rhino, which has been the longest enduring improv group at the University of Iowa. With more members than the previous group, their loud, witty banter enveloped the room in a mixture of jests and laughter. The storyline of their improv was chaotic, encompassing several different skits such as women at a hair salon that have been duped by the prices and the love/hate relationship between Plato and Socrates. The crowd seemed to laugh in unison throughout the entire skit until PaperBack Rhino took their closing bow.

The Great White Narcs was the final act to take the stage. With a different kind of humor than the previous groups, their banter throughout their skits revolved around workplace shenanigans and creating Bloody Mary’s. They were comparable to the sarcastic antics from the popular Hulu show, “Letterkenny.”

When the Great White Narcs finished their final skit, the other two improv groups joined them on stage where they dished out racy jokes involving sorority girls, sex and peanut butter. At the close of the show, the audience gave the bowing students an admirational standing ovation一and rightfully so.

The concepts of every group’s set may have varied but the lack of awkward pauses and the flawless execution of the acts were one in the same.

Photo by Gabby Estlund

Photo by Gabby Estlund