Venue Details

Improv Asylum
216 Hanover St. Boston, MA 02113
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Switchboard is a long-form improvised surprise. The cast of 3 women begins by creating a space object phone switchboard. The lights come up as they chatter away and connect people on the board. From this stylized opening they organically get a suggestion from the audience: a word in the English language. Then… they begin.

The form runs two acts and is inspired by the improv show FourSquare. It moves fluidly from one scene to the next without a break. Sometimes scenes and characters morph into new scenes and characters, other times the edit is more abrupt. All the scenes involve the skills these veteran improvisers have learned over the years. The shows can be very rhythmic and dance-like. They often improvise songs a capella. Some of the character work is stylized, some more emotion-based and serious. Other times it’s just plain old silly good times. Plus sometimes they like to dress up real fancy.


Debra Downing-Grosz is an actor, writer and designer living in Brooklyn, New York. Recent shows include; The Steve Miller Band and Other Annoying Monsters or Oceanquake! at The UCB Theater, Tiny Spectacular at The Magnet Theater, and Switchboard, a three woman improvised show with Rebecca Sohn and Jean Villepique which performs all over the country. Debra is an alumnae of The Chicago Second City Mainstage, ETC and National Touring Company. Other credits include Chicagoland at The Annoyance Theater (a live show as well as a pilot), The Claudia & Deb show with Claudia Wallace, and many shows at The Improv Olympic such as PLAY, an improvised play in two acts; Under The Influence, an improvised show inspired by a poet who reads his work; and Baby Wants Candy, an improvised musical. Deb was a founding member of The Caterpillars, a post feminist rock band, and has been featured at many stand up shows at The Elevated and Lincoln Lodge in Chicago.

Rebecca Sohn lives and works in Chicago. She studied and performed improv in San Francisco with BATS and, in Chicago, at IO, Annoyance & The Second City. She performed and wrote 2 reviews for The Second City ETC. Her own show, Hope is a Four Letter Word enjoyed an extended run on the ETC stage. She has performed in plays at Steppenwolf and Remy Bumppo. Some Film/TV credits include Early Edition, Yonghong and Rogers Park. Currently she teaches and performs at The Annoyance where you can see her in Bad Touch, Grabass, and in Idiot Tango, a brand new sketch show she co-wrote with her scintillating husband, Rich Sohn.

Jean Villepique studied theater at Northwestern University and Improvisation in Chicago at the ImprovOlympic. She performed with several improv groups including Jane before getting hired to tour with the Second City. She wrote and performed in five reviews in Las Vegas, the ETC and the Mainstage before moving to New York where she taught and performed at the Magnet Theater. Her solo show Who Cares ran in New York at the Magnet, in Chicago at The Second City ETC, the UCB LA, and was an official selection for the CIF in 2006. She is currently living in LA where she performs at IO West in Armando and at the UCB in Soundtrack. Television credits include: The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm and 30 Rock.

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