“I feel like I am a child again”: WIT launches eight-week program for seniors

Washington Improv Theater launched a full eight-week session of improv classes for seniors at Capitol Hill Village, a nonprofit that works to sustain and enrich the lives of seniors in DC.

Capitol Hill Village came on to WIT’s radar in 2019, before the pandemic, when a WIT student connected the organization with Education Director Jonathan Murphy. Murphy arranged a pilot workshop for their community, led by instructor Cara Popecki. The workshop was such a hit with the seniors they wanted us to come back as soon as possible.

Here are a few of the comments made by seniors at Capitol Hill Village after WIT piloted an improv workshop with their community.

  • “It’s been nice to meet new friends.”
  • “I’m doing things I’ve never done before… thinking in new and creative ways.”
  • “It’s just been a wonderful experience. I feel like I am a child again. It’s just fun, it’s just joy.”

Of course, the pandemic interrupted future plans, but we re-engaged Capitol Hill Village with virtual sessions in early 2021. After a couple workshops, the participants were excited to do more improv and on June 9 instructor Samantha Watson began a full eight-week session on Wednesdays.

Vernae Rahman-Smith, Member Service Coordinator for Capitol Hill Village, praised improv’s ability to let participants connect, laugh together, and take a break from thinking about the pandemic. “Our members really appreciated the opportunity to just have some fun and do child-like things again,” she said.
A core group of seniors will take each weekly class, but each session will be open to drop-in participation cfrom their network of older adults. Participants are encouraged to keep coming back for a weekly dose of joy and laughter while making new friends.



June 23, 2021