TEACHING ARTIST 

LMCC SU-CASA

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I am happy to announce that I am a 2022 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council SU-CASA Artist! My workshop is "Creative Drama With Seniors".

LMCC is excited to announce 30 residencies for individual artists on behalf of the borough of Manhattan for the 2022 SU-CASA program cycle! SU-CASA is a community arts engagement program that places artists and organizations at senior centers across the five boroughs of New York City. The program provides selected artists with a stipend in exchange for the creation and delivery of arts programming for older adults. The program will support a total 241 residencies for individuals and organizations at senior centers in all five boroughs across the City’s 51 Council districts.#LMCC #SUCASA #ArtsEngagement @nycseniors @nyculture

 

3/30/22 Met with my Senior Center! #Excited to Begin! #LMCC #SUCASA #ArtsEngagement @nycseniors @nyculture

 

1st Week

1st Session #CreativeDramaWithSeniors #FirstDay #LastQuestion "When are you coming back?" #LMCC #SUCASA #ArtsEngagement NYC Department for the Aging, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

2nd Session #60second scenes #gettingtothetruth  With a few vocal prompts, the seniors shared some fun memories and applied them. The scenes came alive in new and exciting ways. 

2nd Week

3rd Session #MirrorWork #Improvs #FamilyReunion #DanceParty  #laughs #goodtimes #Fun I introduced mirror work, where one person is the leader and the other person is the follower and mirrors the movements of the leader.  This allows both individuals to listen and remain connected to their scene partner.  Our improv was to get ready for a family reunion and once we were ready we drove in a car and ended the session with a line dancing party.

4th Session #Relaxation  #LangstonHughes #TheWearyBlues #SyncopatedTunes #NationalPoetryMonth

3rd Week

5th Session Oooooooh my seniors!!!! We worked on relaxation of our bodies, our minds and released our emotions on our breath. This took us into an improv where we were in a money machine and we naturally grabbed all of the money, but then we had to time travel through hot sunny days, rain, sleet and snow up to our thighs, but we made it to the bank and deposited our money into our personal safes. Afterwards we went to our personal resort to cool down by the pool with beverages and lite fare. Then we explored more of Maya Angelou's work! 
"I am the dream and the hope of the slave! I rise, I rise, I rise!!!!! "
 #Relaxation #MayaAngelou #IRise #NationalPoetryMonth #laughs #goodtimes #Fun 😄#LMCC#SUCASA #ArtsEngagement

6thSession #Relaxation #TennisGameImprov#RogerFederer vs.#SerenaWilliams #NationalPoetryMonth #DramaticReadings 

#MayaAngelou  #CagedBird  #PaulLawrenceDunbar #WeWearTheMask #LittleBrownBaby

 

4th Week

7th & 8th Session #Relaxation #WarmUps  #TheatreGames #SoccerGame #SwimMeets #HoldFastToOurDreams
#OlderAmericansMonth #DramaticReadings #AugustWilson  #Fences #SevenGuitars #SeniorGeneratedWork

Our 93 year old taught us how to swim and breath properly. One of our seniors is a prolific writer and we read some of his work.

5th Week
9th Session  #Relaxation #WarmUps  #MirrorWork #OlderAmericansMonth #DramaticReadings #AugustWilson  #Fences 
#SevenGuitars #LangstonHughes  #TheWearyBlues #SeniorOriginalWork

10th Session  #Relaxation #WarmUps #TheatreGames #Swimming #OlderAmericansMonth
#DramaticReadings #LorraineHansberry #ARaisinInTheSun #LenaYounger

6th Week

11th Session  #Relaxation #WarmUps #theatregames #orchestra Each person is an instrument and when the conductor points to them then they play their notes. This was big fun. #Improvisation  #OlderAmericansMonth #DramaticReadings #LorraineHansberry
#ARaisinInTheSun #Lena #Ruth They read the scene, talked about it and then they improvised the scene. Premise: Ruth tries to convince Mama to use the money she inherits from her husband to invest in a liquor store scheme of her son. Lorraine Hansberry would be proud of the things that came out of the improv. #SeniorOriginalWork One senior is a prolific writer. He shares some of his work each session.

12th Session #Relaxation #WarmUps led us into #SecondLineDancing  #Music #MasterMusician 

Dr. Muhal Richard Abrams   #Afrisong#Bloodline #TheatreGames  #Gibberish I introduced the idea of communicating through gibberish. Making up your own words to tell us about an event. This really took off when they connected with current events with a certain celebrity and his estranged wife. Then we all had a gibberish conversation that was indeed a complete scene with a beginning middle and end. There was conflict, suspense and plenty of drama.   #OlderAmericansMonth #DramaticReadings and #Improvisation 

#TwoMasters #LorraineHansberry #ARaisinInTheSun #AugustWilson #SevenGuitars

7th Week

13th & 14th Session #Relaxation #WarmUps #theatregames #gibberish #Improvisation  #OlderAmericansMonth #DramaticReadings 

#LorraineHansberry #ARaisinInTheSun #AugustWilson  #SevenGuitars #AbbottandCostello #WhosOnFirst #RadioPlays 

#SeniorOriginalWork We had fun with Abbott and Costello today.  In the first reading the Seniors delivered the comic timing exquisitely.

8th Week

15th Session 

#Today #CreativeDramaWithSeniors#WarmUps
#Relaxation #Theatergames #Orchestra
I was the conductor and we had a laughing piano, a giggling violin, guffawing drum set, a bellowing horn, and a broken flute. You should have heard the music we made. 🤣 
#Improvs
#BusToken Remembering times when we had tokens. Well someone tried to get on the bus and left his tokens at home. The bus driver eventually ordered him off the bus since no one would give him a token and everyone had to get to work. 😂
#Telephone
I asked them did they know what telephone was? They looked at me like of course they know. Soooooo
I said a couple of things and by the time everyone passed it to the person next to them it sounded nothing like what I said. We all had a great laugh on that one. One of the last ones was Billy bakes cakes in Boston. By the time it got to the last person it was Bee bee bee bee Boop poop be Doop.😂
#DramaticReadings #SceneWork  #AugustWilson #SevenGuitars #LouiseandVera #JoeTurnersComeandGone #Bynum’s Monologue
#LorraineHansberry #ARaisinInTheSun #Mama’s Monologue #seniororiginalwork
#laughs #goodtimes #Fun 😄#LMCC #SUCASA#ArtsEngagement NYC Department for the Aging, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council @nycseniors @nyculture @lmcc_nyc

9th Week

16th & 17th Session

dramaartisan #ThisWeek #CreativeDramaWithSeniors #Relaxation  #WarmUps #theatregames #orchestra  #doubledutchbus
Yes, it had been a long time since some of us jumped double dutch and some of us never have jumped. Never the less, we had the double dutch rope. So we jumped single. We learned how to jump and how to turn. The women and the men had a great time. 
#ontheroadtotheshow  #mayaangelou   #phenomenalwoman   #AugustWilson #JoeTurnersComeandGone #SevenGuitars #fences
#abbottandcostello #whosonfirst #LorraineHansberry #ARaisinInTheSun #langstonhughes #thewearyblues #mayaangelou #AndStillIRise
#seniororiginalwork #laughs #goodtimes #Fun 😄#LMCC #SUCASA#ArtsEngagement NYC Department for the Aging New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Lower Manhattan Cultural Council @nycseniors @nyculture @lmcc_nyc

10th Week

18th & 19th Session

#ThisWeek #CreativeDramaWithSeniors #Relaxation #WarmUps #theatregames  #improvs  
#payrollservices This was big fun! So someone’s check was shorted, someone received too much money and some hasn’t been paid in 3 months. The payroll employee tried to handle it but her colleague wanted her to hurry because she was ready to go to lunch.
Conflict conflict and much drama!😂
#ontheroadtotheshow  #mayaangelou #phenomenalwoman #AugustWilson #JoeTurnersComeandGone  #SevenGuitars 
#fences  #abbottandcostello  #whosonfirst  #LorraineHansberry  #ARaisinInTheSun  #langstonhughes #thewearyblues
#mayaangelou  #AndStillIRise #seniororiginalwork #laughs #goodtimes #Fun 😄#LMCC #SUCASA#ArtsEngagement NYC Department for the Aging New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Lower Manhattan Cultural Council @nycseniors @nyculture @lmcc_ny

11th Week

20th Session

My Seniors soared!!!! Do you hear me?!?!?! 😄 We all had such a great time.
First I did the welcome and intros. Next I explained what Creative Drama was and our process.
Next I showed a 10 minute clip from our work over the last three months.
Then we began an open sharing of our class. Warms ups, relaxation and audience members joined in and then we played a theatre game called Orchestra where each Senior is an instrument and they play themselves. I was the conductor. When they got to a certain point in the music I turned to the audience and asked if anyone wanted to dance and we danced to the seniors creating music. Next we took a suggestion for a live improv from the audience. That was fun. My seniors again rose to the occasion and soared!! It was a bus scene and of course someone didn’t have the money and other people were in a rush for personal reasons. One was on the way to Saks Fifth Avenue.
Then we did the scenes. They ROCKED them too.
Then I had a surprise presentation where we had the first Creative Drama Awards for Outstanding Performance. Each Senior received an award with their names on it.  Then we had a photo shoot and refreshments and cake.  We had baby brioche roast beef, chicken with pesto and salmon sandwiches with chips, sparkling cider, water and cake and coffee. As my grandmother would say a great time was had by all.
#creativedramawithseniors #thepresentation  #mayaangelou   #phenomenalwoman #AugustWilson  #JoeTurnersComeandGone #SevenGuitars #fence  #abbottandcostello   #whosonfirst    #LorraineHansberry   #ARaisinInTheSun    #langstonhughes  #thewearyblues #mayaangelou #AndStillIRise   #seniororiginalwork #laughs #goodtimes #Fun 😄#LMCC #SUCASA#ArtsEngagement NYC Department for the Aging New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Lower Manhattan Cultural Council @nycseniors @nyculture @lmcc_nyc

 

12th Week

21st & 22nd Session

The Watch Party!!!!!

#ThisWeek

#creativedramawithseniors

#THEWATCHPARTY

We had a watch party for our last two sessions!

We did our warms ups and then watched their performances from last Wednesday.

They really enjoyed watching themselves and each other. We had loads of fun. We were laughing and just happy the whole time.

I then gave them a gold frame photo of us with their awards as another keepsake.

They said they will miss me. But we will definitely be in touch. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I fell in love with them.

One also gave me his photo and resume for future work.

“Treat seniors well. They deserve all of the love, care and respect. Life is not over. They have only just begun. And if we are lucky one day we may become seniors too!  Sending love to all!!Now I will sit here and enjoy my sparkling cider.”- Richarda Abrams

#laughs #goodtimes #Fun #LMCC #SUCASA #ArtsEngagement NYC Department for the Aging New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Lower Manhattan Cultural Council @nycseniors @nyculture @lmcc_nyc

 Special Thanks to: 

The ProjectFind Coffeehouse team for making me feel so welcomed.  

Led by Director: Kathleen Mohamed with her team including Program Coordinator:  Rhondean Gripper,  Social Worker: Karen O’Savio, Maintenance: Jaquan Lawrence and Volunteer: Freda Bailey.

Thank you Lower Manhattan Cultural Council SU CASA Program, The New York City Council in partnership with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), the Department for the Aging (DFTA) and the Tiger Baron Foundation for the opportunity to have this wonderful experience.

Thank you videographer: Iki Nakagawa.  The seniors enjoyed watching their work in the presentation.  It was beautifully filmed.

 

Thank you Materials For the Arts for the materials that I found in your vast collection.

 

On a Personal Note:

Over these three months I have gotten to know and love the seniors here at the Coffeehouse.

Each class I looked forward to sharing what I know and learning from you.  We have had so much fun exploring creative drama and written text.  I must say I have gotten more out of being with you then I could have ever imagined.   It has been a true blessing.  I love you all and will hold you forever in my heart.

-Richarda Abrams

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