Dan Dumsha Improv for Parkinson’s Disease

Dan Dumsha Improv
Dan Dumsha Meet the delightful actor and improviser Dan Dumsha who is bringing improv to people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. He is currently involved in a research program with Mount Sinai Neurology Department in NYC where they are looking at the many benefits improv gives people with Parkinson’s. We had so much to talk about and it was exciting to get the opportunity to meet him. As we both work with improv for Parkinson’s, I had an instant sense of connection with him and his easygoing style and humor. Dan is the Director of Improv for the Workplace and for Health and Wellness at the Tightrope Theatre in Vancouver. His passion is to bring learners into the moment together, where co-creation can happen. A graduate of Queen’s University Drama (B.A.H) and Artist in Community Education (B.Ed), Dan has been performing and teaching theatre and improv for over twenty years.

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Ali Turnbull Improvises Through Parkinson’s Disease

Ali TurnbullMeet Ali Turnbull. A wonderful writer and improviser that has Parkinson’s disease. She finds ways to inspire others with Parkinson’s Disease through exercise and laughter. We met at an Improv for PD class with the delightful Robert Cochrane. I laughed so much during this interview as Ali has remarkable wit and is quite engaging, Ali lives on the edge of the beautiful English Lake District with her husband Robin and a cat called LouLou. Her philosophy on life is expressed in this quote. “I have quickly decided that instead of mourning the brain cells I have lost, I will celebrate those that remain with the things I love – music, exercise, and the great outdoors.”

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Improvisational theater games for people with Parkinson’s and Care Partners

Improvisational Theatre Games for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners is not just fun but therapeutic.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a movement disorder that affects up to 1 million people in the US and doctors diagnose 60,000 new cases each year. Improvisational Theater Games, based on the work of Viola Spolin, are being used clinically all over the world. Improv classes are being offered for stress management, Autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and other neuromuscular diseases.

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Improv as Therapy

Gulfshore Life Magazine
Melanie Pefinis
February 2019 (Pages 63-64)

The Naples Players put on a great show, as we theatergoers know. But maybe not all of us know that the 65-year-old institution seeks to educate our community as well as entertain it. There are the KidzAct youth program, internship opportunities, diverse creative workshop offerings for adults–and inclusive classes for people with additional needs, including improv for individuals with autism and those with social anxiety.

Margot Escott was familiar with the mission, so when she approached the players about bringing her own improv classes to the company, she knew the techniques she used with Parkinson’s patients would fit right in.

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