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, Switchboard.
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.