Cast:Deb Downing-Grosz, Jean Villepique, Rebecca Sohn
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 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 scenes being sometimes
rhythmic and dance-like. They often improvise songs a cappella and while
some of the character work is stylized, some tends to be more
emotion-based and serious. Other times, it is just plain old silly good
times. Plus sometimes they like to dress up real fancy.
Jean Villepique is from Bernardsville, NJ. Then she went to Northwestern
University and began studying improvisation. She did that at the iO in
Chicago, with Charna, with Matt Besser, with Del Close. Then she worked
for The Second City touring, and on stages in Las Vegas and Chicago,
writing 5 reviews. Then she moved to NY. Then she moved to LA. Here are
some work credits: The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, My Boys ,
The Goods: the Don Ready Story, and I Love You, Man. Also, Jean plays
music in a duo called The Artists with Kit Pongetti. That should do it.
Have a nice day.
Rebecca Sohn is a Chicago-based actor where she is an ensemble member of
The Annoyance Theater. You can see her there in The Invension Show,
Grabass and Bad Touch. She's an alumna of The Second City, where she
wrote and performed 2 reviews and currently writes and performs for the
Theatricals and the Communications divisions. As an actress in Chicago,
recent shows include An Immigrant Class at Remy Bumppo and The Butcher
of Baraboo at The Steppenwolf Theatre. She tours internationally with
Deb Downing-Grosz and Jean Villepique in their improvised show,
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 and Deb
Show with Claudia Wallace, and many shows The Improv Olympic such as
PLAY, an improvised play in two acts; Under the Influence, and
improvised show inspired by a poet who reads his work; and Baby Wants
Candy, an improvised musical. Deb was a founding member of The
Catepillars, a post feminist rock band, and has been featured at many
stand-up shows at The Elevated and Lincoln Lodge in Chicago.