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A laugh a day keeps the doctor away

Ann’s Choice comedy club all laughs

Created date

March 26th, 2013

When she returned to Ann s Choice last summer after taking time away to care for her brother-in-law, Nancy Bryan realized that even the sunniest people, like herself, could use more laughter in their lives. And because she lived at Erickson Living s community in Bucks County, Pa., where residents routinely launch new ventures, she decided to mount a comedy show called Laughter Is the Best Medicine. The former Perkasie, Pa., resident has always loved the limelight. As a child, they called me Sarah Bernhardt, she says. I embellished.

Comedy club commences

She modeled her Ann s Choice comedy show after Rowan & Martin sLaugh-in, the zany 1960s-era TV series. Residents who joined her in the venture unleashed their own comedic talents. At the group s weekly meetings, they divided into subcommittees to write and practice the sketches they d perform in the show. They even created a not-so-newlywed skit. And they convinced Executive Director Chris Donati to host. To relieve Nancy of juggling everything herself, neighbor Dave Heuscher volunteered as set designer and built a comedy wall (much like the one featured inLaugh-in) as a venue for many of the jokes. He also became producer, director, and control room guru. Since moving to Ann s Choice six years ago, Dave s been in the control room for nearly every event that takes place in the campus performing arts center. It s a pleasure to work with creative, innovative, and dynamic residents who want to share their talents through the performing arts, he says. The show, performed for the community in mid-January, drew plenty of laughs. So at the cast party, members named themselves The Comedy Club and decided to continue as an official campus group. They ll produce another big show as well as create short skits to incorporate into campus events like the July 4th celebration.

Life outside the footlights

Beyond her comedy exploits, Nancy belongs to the campus Red Hat group, the German and Irish clubs, and was on the entertainment committee. I think people wait too long to move here, she says. You can do anything you want and start any group you want. Dave didn t wait. He moved to Ann s Choice at 63 to be spoiled. He wanted travel, intellectual stimulation, new hobbies, and a diverse mix of neighbors. He got it all. With the community s trips and travel group, he s taken 12 cruises, 9 extensive land trips, including one to China, scores of day trips, and has more journeys on the horizon. When he s home, he s involved in myriad on- and off-campus commitments including, among others, Ann s Choice genealogy, woodshop, computer, and digital photography groups. Dave s master bedroom is now hobby central.