Area comedy troupes perform at Cedar Rapids Improv Festival

by Srdjan Jankovic ’20 

Mount Mercy University’s Begging for Mercy, Cedar Rapids Washington High School’s FDIC and the University of Northern Iowa’s Some Assembly Required performed interactive improvisation shows Nov. 22-23 at the Cedar Rapids Improv Festival on the Mount Mercy campus.

During the first day, the audience watched comedic performances and suggested topics to the improv troupes. FDIC performed first and covered topics such as a crazy way to die, Cinderella and subtitles. Some Assembly Required acted hilarious family scenes where a mother, father and brother helped their youngest family member decide which college to attend. Begging for Mercy’s funniest scene involved a participant sticking his head in a bucket full of water and pretending he was contacting someone.

Cedar Rapids high schools competed on the second day of the festival, and the audience voted for the Cedar Rapids improv champion.

The festival was planned and organized by Karen Krebs, Begging for Mercy group leader. She has led the group for 10 years and wanted to expand improv shows by inviting troupes from other universities and high schools.

Krebs also turned the festival into a beautiful charity event, with all proceeds benefiting the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital through Mount Mercy’s Dance Marathon student organization.


Cedar Rapids Washington High School’s FDIC improv group performing their half-time dance act. They performed a scene and then tried to replicate it in half the time.


University of Northern Iowa’s Some Assembly Required asking for the audience’s scene suggestions.


Matthew Trueblood, member of Begging for Mercy and Mount Mercy student, performing the head in the bucket scene. The act garnered the most applause.


Karen Krebs, leader of Begging for Mercy and organizer of the Cedar Rapids Improv Festival.

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