Mad Cowford Improv Comedy

Art • Performance

Mad Cowford Improv Comedy

No. 20224

Mad Cowford Improv

Mad Cowford is Jacksonville's home for improv comedy. We take audience suggestions and create spontaneous theatre.

Funding Goal

Seeking

$100,000

We're looking at improving our show product and creating the best place possible to perform improv shows, host events, and offer classes and rehearsals.

About Project

About Us:
Mad Cowford offers creative improvisational comedy performances and training. Our involvement in the Jacksonville community has helped establish the Urban Core as a unique, fun, and vibrant destination. Audience suggestions inspire our take on improvised comedy theater; a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters, and dialogue of a scene are made up in the moment. Our shows take suggestions from the audience that inspires each performance. Since every scene is made up on the spot… there will never be another show like it ever again.

Our History:
Mad Cowford has been performing improvised comedy in Jacksonville since 2006. We began nomadically performing at various downtown venues for the first three years and starting weekly performances at our current location at Northstar the Pizza Bar on E. Bay in 2009.

We began with weekly Friday shows in the style of "Whose Line is it Anyway" (Short Form improv) and as our audiences and troupe started growing we increased our weekly performances to include Saturday night shows as well. These “Super Special Saturday Shows” offer competitive improv, musical improv, and an experimental style called Long Form – a story-based improvisation, like a play made up in the moment, with developing characters and plots that engage the audience through a higher level of comedy.

Our Community Involvement:

Mad Cowford is proud of our Jacksonville roots (Cowford is what Jacksonville was originally called and is part of our name!) and we have tied ourselves to our community through our involvement with local and national charity events including: First Coast No More Homeless Pets, The Jacksonville Humane Society, The Joe Berg Society, The American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Get Carded – Organ and Tissue Donation, The American Lung Association in Florida, and many others.

Mad Cowford does free performances once a month on Art Walk Wednesdays to promote the revival of downtown as an arts and entertainment district for Jacksonville.

Our Current Services:
· Friday and Saturday Night performances
· Improv Workshops: Levels One - Three
· Corporate Training and events
· Private events
· Fund raisers
· Emceeing/Hosting
· Actors/Talent for films, commercials, and promotional events

We've been growing steadily since 2006 and are ready to establish ourselves as a downtown Jacksonville destination by building a theater to engage audiences with live improv comedy performances, special events, improvisational training, and corporate and private functions.

Improv comedy spawned the careers of many comedy giants like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Pohler, Mike Meyers, Harold Ramis, and the majority of SNL cast members. Writers for the Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Conan, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and many others have become established since training with Second City and iO. Having an improvisational background has become the standard for performers and writers of good comedy for the past decade.

Jacksonville is full of talented people with few opportunities for learning and development and we want to help that talent grow as well as be an integral part of establishing the Urban Core as the Jacksonville entertainment district

One of our biggest challenges is not having a “Home.” Our workshops are taught out of rooms rented from an Arlington church, our rehearsals are run from a hotel in Tapestry Park, and only our performances are downtown. Our goal is to establish a permanent presence in the heart of the city and continue to participate in the revitalization of downtown Jacksonville.

Establishing a theater will allow us to provide the city with a unique and interactive entertainment option. An answer to the question "What is there to do downtown?" with the answer "Go see Mad Cowford. You do not want to miss this show!"

Project Objectives:

· open/renovate theater/training space
· utilize professional marketing to strengthen our brand and extend our reach to North Florida and beyond
· create a consistent corporate training set of offerings
· retain a business consultant to sustain growth
· acquire technology upgrades (lighting. Microphone, etc.) to improve show quality
· attend training offered by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce to achieve strategic goals

*Project Showcase Proposal*
We will engage your guests/attendees with our unique brand of improvised comedy. IF your venue provides food and beverages you will increase sales as customers will want to stick around for the performances.

Our weekly Friday and Saturday shows typically run for an hour and a half, however, we can customize shows to suit your venue. For example, we can run several thirty minute shows to accommodate the influx of foot traffic your venue will attract for One Spark.

Project Showcase Proposal

We will have a display outside of NorthStar the Pizza Bar to meet and greet with potential voters, fans, and investors.

We will, also, be performing multiple 30 minute comedy sets within NorthStar the Pizza Bar each night.

Project Showcase Requirements

Indoor/Outdoor Est. Dimensions
indoor or outdoor Length: 6' Width: 6' Height: 7'

Project Questions

What city is your project based out of?

Jacksonville, Florida

What sets your Project apart from what is currently available?

Mad Cowford has the strength of a large, diverse, talented troupe of performers and a novel "never to be seen again" show...every week. Mad Cowford is a unique choice for entertainment in the Urban Core whether you are a local or a tourist. We have a large and dedicated fan base that consistently attends shows because the entertainment we offer is different every time and the audience has a role in what they see performed based on their suggestions. Successful improv comedy companies such as Sak in Orlando, UCB in New York City, and IO in Chicago have all built successful businesses by creating incredible comedy, teaching improv to students young and old, and providing corporate workshops to teach leadership skills, teaming together, and how to think on your feet.

Our fans consistently bring new customers to the downtown area (even from the Beaches!) to introduce their friends and family to what we do, and very significantly, they bring revenue to the district by patroning the downtown restaurants and bars before and after our shows.

Why are you and your team the best people on the planet to handle this project?

With nearly 30 players, including a tennis pro and a U.S. Navy JAG, Mad Cowford Improv brings a multitude of perspectives, a diverse sense of humor, and experiences to our performances - which combined is a pretty accurate representation of our city.

In addition to the quality and uniqueness of our performances, Mad Cowford has strong leadership and business savvy to grow and sustain that growth to become a desired downtown destination. That means in addition to being talented and creative, we have the experience and focus to run a business that will endure.

In addition to our cast of well trained, committed, funny, and talented players, we also have a core audience who continues to bring friends and family to our weekly shows and who travels to see us perform in showcases in Fernandina, Flagler Beach, Gainesville, and Sarasota. We have dedicated couples drive down from Savannah and Brunswick to spend the night on the St. Johns River just to catch both Friday and Saturday shows and students travel from Tallahassee every week to attend workshops.

We are excited to continue to be Jacksonville's home for improv comedy.