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The Groundlings School Teams Up with L.A. Senior Community to Offer Improv Classes for Residents

·2 min read
The Groundlings
The Groundlings

The Watermark at Westwood Village Classes at The Watermark at Westwood Village

Comedy can be beneficial for your health no matter what your age!

The Groundlings — a Los Angeles-based improv theatre and school that counts Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, Kristen Wiig and many more as alums — has teamed up with local senior community The Watermark at Westwood Village to launch a six-week course for residents.

The new and exciting classes kicked off on Nov. 16 and help teach senior residents all about the core principles of improv.

"Our residents, many of which have showbiz backgrounds, are over the moon about having access to The Groundlings and love that the class is kept small and intimate so they can get the most out of the experience with the instructor," Lynda Gillian, community life director at The Watermark at Westwood Village, tells PEOPLE.

The Groundlings
The Groundlings

The Watermark at Westwood Village Classes at The Watermark at Westwood Village

Although many people may think of improv as just a way to have fun, there are plenty of other benefits to the classes — especially when it comes to seniors.

"Improv not only offers a good laugh for our older adults, these classes also encourage movement, while honing cognitive skills and spontaneity," explains Gillian.

Carrie LaFerle Gergely, managing director at The Groundlings Theatre & School, adds that the school's improv workshops "help students develop important skills like heightened communication, empathy and the ability to adapt to any circumstances."

"Also, by placing folks in a very active, participatory learning environment, students build self-confidence, tap into their creativity and make new friends," adds Gergely.

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One particularly funny moment in the classes so far came from one resident, who drew on his personal history to deliver a hilarious remark.

"One of our participating residents was a TV producer in Chicago back in the day and had us cracking up when he said he was the 'Thomas Edison of TV,' " recalls Gillian. "These moments, when our residents connect and share stories and jokes with one another, remind me how much I love coming into work every day."

The Groundlings
The Groundlings

The Watermark at Westwood Village Classes at The Watermark at Westwood Village

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Additionally, the program — which will culminate in a series of special exercises, rather than a public showing — is designed to help foster a spirit of community.

"We couldn't be more thrilled to be able to bring this caliber of immersive learning experience to our residents," says Gillian.

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