If performing isn’t the goal of PILL improv, what is?

By Dwyer Leahy Vessey

Sometimes when I mention I’m going to Improv I get asked if I want to learn to “perform” improv…and I say – Improv is one of the only times that I don’t feel like I have to perform…I get to play.

And then I say “improv is like when you were a little kid and and you went outside to play with a friend and then another friend came by and the game changed into something new and then more kids showed up and you played outside until your mother whistled you home…that’s improv.”

If your curious to know what taking a PILL class is like, check out this slide show of a recent class. It might be hard to tell WHAT we are doing, but notice how much FUN we’re having doing it!

Check out this single session at York Adult & Community Education.


Glorious Ladies of PILL Spreading Light & Laughter at Seacoast FUNdraiser!

At a recent “Superhero”  fundraising party, (Seacoast woman runs for the homeless), several glorious women from Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab-PILL showed up at Jubilation Dance Studio to do a little improv!

And thankfully, one of the audience members took a couple of videos!  (THANKS, HAYDEN!)

Here are a couple of videos that will make you smile.  And you can still donate!

First, “Bus Stop” and then “Doctor’s Office”!

Can you sense divine play among us?

Oh and just so you know, we don’t generally dress up as Superheros for PILL Classes AND if you wanted that would be fine!

PILL Open House Was Wonderfull & Early Bird Rates Extended!

Is there a PILL for making friends, playing, & learning interpersonal skills? Click To Tweet

Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab isn’t a PILL you swallow, it is a PILL class you take! And there are a few spots left in upcoming classes:  Stronger Together (combines mindfulness and improv) and Take Another PILL.  To encourage you to try PILL or come back, we are extending the Early Bird Rates!

This past Saturday,  Liz Korabek-Emerson, MFA  and I offered the first PILL open house with Korabek Training.  We were so happy to share our philosophy and teach a few activities. Watching people play, hearing the laughter, and witnessing the support that people give each other is all affirming of our beliefs in the transformative power of this work.   People ask us; “What makes PILL improv spiritual”?  Part of the answer lies in this unfolding of humanity. WOW, right?

Oh and 2 people said their faces hurt from smiling and laughing so much.They are doing the Danish Clap! You’d never suspect they practically just met, would you?Please consider joining us for an upcoming class! And don’t miss Liz’s blog series about mindfulness and improv!

“…a story about how we begin to remember…”- Paul Simon

Listening to Under African Skies while driving under them with my son was an incredible privilege that moved me to tears.  And he too, felt something profound in the words and music from Paul Simon’s Graceland Album as we drove along our 2+ week journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein

What were we remembering?  Our connection? Joy in discovering together? Gratitude for our time?  Something deeply profound about humanity?

These are the roots of rhythm

And the roots of rhythm remain

I have learned so much on this journey and am so grateful.  I arrive home quite tired, yet with renewed commitment to teaching improv in a way that helps people tap into divine play with others. This too, is profound!

As we experience playing together in a safe and honoring environment we remember and celebrate our humanity!

Please consider signing up for a PILL class and dipping your toe into this safe, fun, joyful art! Visit us during our open house or check out upcoming classes!  And shoot me an email if you have questions! Bbbboynton@gmail.com

And it is a different song on the same LP, but hey…

We all will be received in Graceland!

Portsmouth Fitness Leader Happy to Support Homelessness Fundraiser

Honore and her Mom, Andrea

I’ve been taking Zumba dance classes at Jubilation (where your first class is always FREE!) for years and love it.  The music, moves, and community fill me up in so many ways.

The owner, Honore LaFlamme has a big heart and when I asked about using the studio for a Back on My Feet fundraiser, she didn’t hesitate to say “Sure!”!

I believe in supporting nonprofit organizations when I can b/c they do so much for our community. Besides, the idea of helping homeless people get back on their feet with a jogging program sounds empowering!  —Honore LaFlamme

She’s also hosting a food drive that one of the other instructors,, Michelle Poulin organizes every Thanksgiving.

It is a great village!

There are all ages and abilities at Jubilation and all the instructors are fun and supportive!  Personally, I love being part of the older culture gravitating towards that back row!  There are quite a few of us boomers doing what we can, supporting each other, screaming on occasion, and welcoming new people.  Did I mention that the first class is always FREE?  And the schedule has options for everyone!

What’s the fundraiser about?

Lightening Larry

Lori Austin, a local social worker and student at PILL-Portsmouth Improv Learning Lab, (among other things) is leading the fundraiser with her non-imposing, yet very inspiring alias Lightening Larry! 

The local event will take place on 2/24/18 and is part of Lori’s bigger fundraising plan.  We’ll share more about that soon, for now I just wanted to publicly thank Honore for helping and casually mention Larry’s, I mean Lori’s Back on My Feet crowdsource project!

Help Lightening Larry Share Kindness & Empower Homeless People!

By Lori Austin, LCSW

So excited, once again to think about empowering those who struggle with homelessness to gain independence via RUNNING for Back on My Feet (BoMF).  

For me being an athlete throughout my whole life and running in my adult life has had enormous benefits.  It has kept me moving forward through my own personal traumas, losses and acceptance of my own illnesses. 

I have found grace and through this grace I can share it with others. Grace then comes back ten fold through service. I have never been homeless but I have struggled as most of us have in our lives.

It has taken me a long time to embrace who I am learning to love the struggle and my beautiful gifts. Growing up with illness around me as a little girl, coping with my own and facing losses of two brothers in adulthood taken too fast. Then seeing my beautiful parents leave this earth via cancer and Alzheimer’s.  I am where I am today through all of this.  The gift of international travel blessed me life in recent years as a social worker where I found a true voice after years of being a caretaker of my family members. 

Lightening Larry was born in England out of a joke with colleagues, (It was an accent thing with my name, Lori.  Has anyone seen Larry? Who is Larry?). He has come to represent a superhero sharing light and kindness to the world. 

It is a true honor and blessing to simply run and raise money for BoMF at the London Marathon in April 2018 where Lightening Larry can go back and spread light.

The volunteers of BoMF share their time with members at 5:30 am three times a week running to help them build confidence and move forward with their lives. After they make a commitment to themselves and BoMF, the runners gain access to job training and housing.  This occurs in 12 major cities in the United States.  I have chosen to run London Marathon which helps raise money for new chapters in new cities in the United States. Incredible!!

Please help support me as I am raising $7,500 plus.

Learn about the origins of BoMF here.