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Creative arts and aging: improvisation by Roxy Kline

Everyone is aging. Agreed? But how we age is determined, in part, by what we do with our years. George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Whatever age, mental or physical ability, older adults can participate in the arts. Improvisation is just one of many creative arts tools that can be used to provide opportunities for social interaction in a playful and fun atmosphere.

When most people think of improvisation, they think of stand-up comedians with clever, quick-witted responses and one-liners. Although a common side effect of improvisation is laughter, being clever or funny is not a necessary skill. Stop thinking about improvisation as “acting.” Instead, look at the root word “improvise” (defined as “to invent, compose, or perform with little or no preparation”).

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