A Community Education Curriculum Using Improvisational Theatre Techniques for Informal Dementia Caregivers


  • Britteny Howell University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Erik Dahl, PE Scared Scriptless Improv
  • Arianna Piech
  • Ann Farris, CDP




adult education, dementia, caregiving, communication, improvisational theatre


This paper describes a novel community education curriculum created for family dementia caregivers using improvisational theatre techniques. The goal of the 6-week program is to improve communication skills and social caregiving situations that can increase informal caregivers’ mood and reduce feelings of caregiver burden. We provide a framework for 6 weekly sessions that focus on interpersonal communication and creating meaningful connections with care recipients in a fun and playful environment. Designed by professional improvisers, a gerontology researcher, and a dementia education specialist, this curriculum can be tailored for use in other community settings. Preliminary research on such programs demonstrates that improv has the ability to reduce caregiver burden and depression.