Enjoy “Gibberish Talk Show Host” for the Sheer Pleasure of Watching Humans Play!

Here is another fun video from the PILL filming project involving the Out of the PILLbox Players (OOPPs); Jody Fuller, Glenna Kimball, Liz Korabek-Emerson, Mary Ellen McElroy. Robin Masia, Corrie Owens-Beauchesne, Anita Remig, and Dwyer Vessey!  (You guys are amazing and I love you all!)

In “Gibberish Talk Show Host” adapted from Kate Koppet’s Training to Imagine, there is an interdependence of three people as they impact each others’ roles and build a “scene” together.

  • The Expert understands but does not speak English and doesn’t need to know anything about the topic.
  • The Translator can make up anything she wants while trying to stay in the spirit and tone expressed by the expert.
  • The Talk Show Host can guide the conversation with any combination of cues from the expert or translator.

Here Anita (Talk Show Host), Dwyer (Translator), and Mary Ellen (Gibberish Expert) take on the topic of-Horse-riding suggested by their peers. Meanwhile, the rest of us look on in supportive fascination and wondering…what will happen next? 🙂

While this activity is engaging and hilarious to watch, it can also be a powerful teaching tool to help nurses and doctors communicate better!

Next Discover PILL class starts 9/11/2017! Next Stronger Together class starts 10/23/2017!

And thanks to Chad Cordner for production support and with Colin McCarthy and Eddie Pimansone for manning the cameras!




How Delivering Pizza Led Me to a Spiritual Reunion that I Am SO Grateful For!

Most of my work these days is around developing, promoting, and teaching PILL classes in Portsmouth and Medical Improv at healthcare conferences and organizations all over the country.  I LOVE and am committed to this fun and transformative process!

Upcoming gigs:

But what does that have to do with pizza and spiritual events?

Well……sometimes it is good to step away from trying to make things happen and let them happen with a faith in some higher plane of wisdom, …maybe… right?  So this summer I toyed with some part-time ideas of bartending, nursing, and delivering pizza.  I wanted something low stress and different.  Bartending?  Maybe.  Nursing? No, part-time is too stressful.  Not enough staff typically and I’ve done 30 plus years of direct care.  I want something lighter.

Delivering pizza?  Seriously?

I had to struggle with my ego a bit.  After all, what is a nurse, author, and international speaker doing delivering pizza?  I know, it is a little weird, but that’s what I decided to do.  So a couple of times a week I put on my Papa Gino’s outfit and drive around the seacoast and deliver pizza.  The people I work with are from all over the world and very nice.  The scenery is nice, people getting pizza are usually in good spirits,  and for now,  I kinda like it.

And one day, I was surprised to see a vaguely familiar name on a delivery order that I was assigned to.  A relative of my ex sister-in-law, Susan who passed away a few years ago from colon cancer.  She had been divorced from my brother and due to complex family dynamics way outside the scope of this post, I had lost track of her.  And yet she was a very nurturing person in my life when I was growing up.   ( I think I met her when I was about 10 years old.)

To say the least, I loved her dearly and have fond memories of her and her family.

So, I took a deep breath in noting some anxiety taking the pizza over.  After all, I wasn’t really exactly sure who I was taking it to and what kind of feelings might be encountered given the old family dynamics and my, shall we say unusual role?

Well, Susan’s brother answered the door.  I remembered him immediately, gave him the pizza, and introduced myself saying how much I missed his sister.  He remembered me and without any hesitation invited me in to see his (and Susan’s) Mother.  OMG what a gift.  I remembered her and she, now elderly,  remembered me.   We hugged and both got teary.  She’s just as nurturing as Susan was!  When I was a little girl she AND Susan were wonderful beacons of love in my life.

Well, she wanted me to come back and her son said the door was always open.  I left with a full heart and promise to do so.  I even dropped by without my pizza garb for a longer visit last week.  I feel so joyful about this reconnection and opportunity to be part of her village at this point in her life and mine.

Crazy, right?  A Higher plane of wisdom, maybe….right?

Thinking of Taking a PILL? Check out Sunday’s Single Dose and September’s Discover PILL Classes

I love teaching Improv classes for people who want to have fun, tap into a supportive community, and play around with personal growth.  Ask any PILL-taker what they love about class and you may get different answers.  One thing I think we all share is the joy experienced in Divine Play.  I’ll write more about why I love teaching and playing improv in another post, but right now I want you to know about 2 upcoming classes!

Discover PILL:  The Improv Way to Have Fun, Meet Nice People, & Grow!

Monday evenings 6:30p-830p, Sept 11th-Oct 16th 2017

This beginners’ class is held once/week for 6 weeks and is a great way to try fundamental improv activities and meet some fun and nice people. You may also experience increased confidence and improved communication skills. Facilitated by Beth Boynton.  We’ll make time for discussion and socializing.  No experience necessary!  Just a desire to explore the realm of this divine play with others.  Read more or register here!  This class may be repeated multiple times!  Oh and don’t miss the Early Bird rate!

Contact Beth (bbbboynton@gmail.com) with any questions!  I’m always happy to meet for coffee in Portsmouth and tell you more.

Discover PILL 2: More Divine Play the Improv Way

(It is a Single Dose PILL and STARTS THIS SUNDAY!)

4th Sunday of the month starting August 27th.

If you’ve taken Discover PILL: The Improv Way to Have Fun, Meet Nice People, & Grow and/or Stronger Together: The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence and Fun, you’ll be jazzed to know about Discover PILL 2. In this once a month level II class we’ll jump right into improv activities, try some more complex ones, and play for longer. They’ll be time for socializing and discussing too! But mostly, we’ll play! Read more or register here.  You can save by registering online.  Use the private pay option to pay the online rate at the door!

Contact Beth (bbbboynton@gmail.com) with any questions!

Spotlight on Seacoast Actor & NH’s Commitment to Holistic Health Via Art, Medicine, & Improv

Jennifer Sue Mallard is well-known for many wonderful acting roles on the NH seacoast.  Did you see her as the Lady of the Lake in this Summer’s hit show, Spamalot at Seacoast Rep?  OMG the whole show was amazing and so was she!

A newer and also exciting role for Jen is as one of the dedicated instructors at the River Guild Holistic Health Collective in Concord, NH.  Here she teaches many forms of art all of which is approached in a therapeutic way. She incorporates meditation in every class and teaches improv for adults and youth.

Jen also teaches wire wrapping healing stones, painting from your soul and collaborative choreo!

I’m loving having found an outlet to combine my passions of helping people organically and in a healthy way by using what I know And love. Art is such a beautiful form of medicine and I’m lucky to have become aware of how I can use my skills in a deeper way, to bring us all together and heal the soul!  –Jennifer Sue Mallard

The River Guild is a holistic health collective with community space serving Concord and Central New Hampshire. Their classes include yoga, healthy eating seminars, meditation, reading groups, author events, mindful parenting, art and children’s classes. Doesn’t this look like an exciting place? Whether for primary treatment or to support traditional medicine, with all the chaos in health care these days, it is reassuring to hear about a calming and loving place for healing.  And what a great place for instructors too!

Their philosophy is grounded in the firm belief that everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach!

Meanwhile, here on the seacoast Fall classes for PILL-Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab are taking shape. Applied improv, (different from improv comedy) is a fun way to meet people and grow!

Lots of Creative Happenings on the NH Seacoast-Yes, Like The PILL Filming Project!

Thanks to the amazing Out of the PILLbox Players* and Portsmouth Public Media TV, the PILL filming project is off the ground.  PILL stands for Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab where we hold improv classes for everyday people who want to have fun, develop interpersonal skills, and meet other nice people.  (We even have a new class combining mindfulness and improvisation!)

There are two goals for the filming project:

  1. To help people see how safe, fun, connecting, and enriching improv activities can be.
  2. To provide video samples of activities that can be used for teaching as discussed in my train-the-trainer book, Medical Improv: A New Way to Improve Communication.

Same Time Story aka Mirror Speech aka Synchronized Story is a fun improv activity adapted from Viola Spolin’s book,  Theatre for the Classroom. Here, Glenna Kimball and Jody Fuller demonstrate the activity while their friends look on!

As you watch this 2 min Youtube, notice:

  • How much fun they and their classmates are having!
  • How quickly they adapt to an unexpected topic and change in leadership!
  • How focused they are on each other!
  • How safe and easy this activity can be!

Same Time Story can be useful in the development of emotional intelligence and respectful listening skills and it is a great way for people to experience what it is like to be heard!  Yet, it can be tricky to teach or explain in writing!

Introducing the Out of the PILLbox Players (OOPPs)!

Jody Fuller, Glenna Kimball, Liz Korabek-Emerson, Mary Ellen McElroy. Robin Masia, Corrie Owens-Beauchesne, Anita Remig, and Dwyer Vessey! A couple OOPPs have acting backgrounds. Most do not.  All have taken some PILL classes and have agreed to help with the goals of this project.  We had a blast and will be holding 3 more sessions.  (If you are interested in participating, contact me:  bbbboynton@gmail.com)

And thanks to Chad Cordner for production support and with Colin McCarthy and Eddie Pimansone for manning the cameras!


PILL Blog Summer Series: “Mindfulness Meets Improvisation” by Liz Korabek-Emerson

Sounds intriguing, yes?

Over the next two weeks, Liz will share her insights on the Six Ways Improv Aligns with Mindfulness, described by applied improvisation blogger, Rachel Ben.  

Mindfulness Meets Improvisation!

  • Listen and Respond
  • Be Present
  • Start Anywhere
  • Embrace Uncertainty
  • Be Kind
  • Cultivate Generosity

Stay tuned for this fun series!  

Oh and later this summer,  Liz and I are piloting a dynamic new workshop where we will explore these concepts and more.  Registration, Early Bird rate, and more info:

Stronger Together:  The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun

Mindfulness and improvisation?  To help people develop emotional intelligence, good communication skills, presence and deeper connections?  Granted, it’s a little out of the box.  But most fun, cutting edge and innovative stuff is.  -Liz Korabek-Emerson


Liz is a certified mindfulness instructor, transformational workshop leader and creative coach dedicated to helping people become more resilient through mindfulness.  Since 2012 she has been designing and leading mindfulness programs for individuals and organizations including the Portsmouth Hospital, Liberty Mutual, and Riverwoods Retirement community.  She also holds an MFA in theatre and brings thirty years of experience creating and directing theatre to teaching programs that are empowering, creative and engaging.  Learn more at Korabek Training.

Keeping You in the PILLoop!

Just a quick update before heading to the Music Hall for a movie.  Not sure if I’ll go to “Lovers” or “Obit”!

  • Only 2 spots left in upcoming class which begins Monday night.  How exciting is that?  And you can still get the Early Bird rate until 11:59 pm 7/7/2017!

Discover PILL:  The Improv Way to Have Fun, Meet Nice People, & Grow! Register Here!

Liz Korabek-Emerson, of Korabek Training,  is writing a series for the PILL Blog about Mindfulness and Improv.  (Thanks, Liz!) It will coincide nicely for promoting our class Stronger Together: The Extra Strength PILL for Connecting with Presence & Fun.

We are jazzed about this new class and had a blast putting up PILL Posters all over Portsmouth!

  • Last but not least, the PILL filming project begins 7/15 with a small group of PILL-takers, 3 camerafolk, and an idea!  Stay tuned to learn more about what’s coming down the PILL Pike! 🙂



Next Class-Discover PILL-Early Bird Reminder!

Early Bird rate ends 11;59 PM on 7/6/17!

Happy 4th of July 2017!  What a gorgeous day on the seacoast!  I hope you are enjoying your holiday.  And what a great place to live or visit, right?

And what a great place to live or visit, right?

I’m excited to say that there are only 5 more spots for Discover PILL:  The Improv Way to Meet Nice People, Have Fun, & Grow!

Register Here

Please note that there is a “Private Pay” option that allows you to register and pay by check or cash in person.  You’ll save a few bucks and I’ll have a list of registrants!

Let me know if you have any questions!  bbbboynton@gmail.com!



Why the PILL Tagline “Dignity is our Destiny”?

I borrowed, (with permission), the tagline from Robert Fuller, former president of Oberlin College and author of Somebodies and Nobodies.  In this moving TED talk, he shares his plan about making dignity a movement.  A movement towards dignity and away from ‘rankism’ or any form of abuse.

Dignity is something we all deserve, right?  To be treated with respect.  Just because we are human beings.  People of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, professions, and so forth deserve to be treated with dignity.  And that, instead of bullying, racism, sexism, etc,  is what our capacity is or can be as human beings…IMHO.

But we know, it isn’t always the case.  Our world is a tumultuous place and abuses of power not uncommon.  Maybe, in some cases, not even on a conscious level!

What does dignity have to do with PILL?

One of the wonderful things about improv activities, when played in a safe environment like with PILL is that power is shared.  Sharing an idea and building on the idea of another is a magical way of promoting dignity.  And by the way, I believe that creating a safe environment for our classes is extremely important!

Sooooooooo PILL classes, besides being fun and full of nice people to meet, also help us evolve individually and collectively! Pretty awesome, yes?

How would you describe dignity?  Do you think we humans can get there?





PILL is in the News

A big shout out to Seacoast Reporter Paul Briand for his recent coverage of PILL via an interview with yours truly!  I’m in my early 60s and the path to PILL has a rather long story so kudos to Paul for his thoughtful and skilled weaving of the salient points!



Beth Boynton has made a career – and written a book – devoted to using the improv techniques to help medical professionals improve their communication skills.

Today, she wants to expand that offering to a more general audience in Portsmouth. To that end, Boynton has created PILL – Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab.

Experiential activities from the world of improv can be made to be safe, fun and transformative. When there is no pressure to perform, this process of divine play can also lead to new friendships and much joy,” said Boynton.  

Read full story here!