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40 Prospect St, Cambridge (MA), 02139, United States

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(617) 576-1253

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Description ImprovBoston is a nonprofit improvisational theater, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It offers shows five nights per week at its theater in Central Square and training programs in improvisation, stand-up comedy and sketchwriting.HistoryFounding and the Early Years (1982–1993)In 1982, Ellen Holbrook, a former student at Second City in Chicago and a producer of the Chicago Improv Olympic, moved to Boston with the idea to found an improvisational comedy troupe similar to Second City. Holbrook had the encouragement of former members of The Proposition, an earlier improv-comedy troupe, and Director David Shepherd, the founder of the Compass Players and the Improv Olympic. In the beginning, she assembled and trained several loosely knit bands of improvisers into teams that competed in the Boston "Improv Olympic" at Reilly’s Beef and Pub near Government Center. Holbrook also arranged for David Shepherd and Second City's Michael Gellman to come to Boston to teach improv workshops to local performers. In 1983, Holbrook, along with Nicholas Emanuel and Katy Bolger, co-founded ImprovBoston, as the organization evolved. With their contacts, the group moved to Satch's near Copley Square, owned by former Boston Celtic Satch Sanders. In 1984, ImprovBoston officially became a not-for-profit corporation and moved to Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge at Inman Square, where they remained for several years. Show formats varied but often included several improv games based on audience suggestions, set sketches based on improvs from past shows, musical improvs and song parodies. ImprovBoston troupe members often took turns directing shows, but other ImprovBoston directors during this time included David Thibodeaux, Jack O'Connor, Leslie Curtin and Brad Jones.

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