60+ Arts + Culture

Arts + Culture

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan offers a variety of activities to satisfy your creative side, from acting to memoir-writing to knitting and beyond. Whether you want to try something new or hone long-held skills, our experienced instructors can help you sculpt your talents and passions.

Summer 2020 Virtual Drama and Improv Classes

60+ Virtual Drama Group
Scott Klavan
Join this enthusiastic group! Through prepared scenes and monologues, improvisations and theater games, as well as original writing by the students, this workshop will increase creative skills, improve memory and concentration, boost self-confidence, and provide a positive group experience. No theatrical experience required.
8 Mondays, July 6-August 24, 10 am-noon, $80/$88
For info and to register, click here.

Virtual Improv for Seniors
Emily Lowinger
Whether you're a retired Broadway actor or have just always dreamed of getting up on stage, this class is for you! Improv is more than a creative medium. It's a way to loosen up the mind, build community, and build on skills such as listening, critical thinking, public speaking, and developing stage presence. But most importantly, improv is just plain old fun. In this course, we'll go over the basic how-tos of improv and practice the art form through games, exercises, and prompts. At the end of the course, we'll put on a completely improvised show for our friends and families to enjoy.
6 Thursdays, July 9-August 13, 2-3 pm, $90/$110
For more info and to register, click here

Those who enjoy learning about art and culture on a theoretical and historical level can choose from a variety of classes, with new ones offered each season. Past classes offered include:

  • The Continuing Evolution of Rock 'n Roll and Pop Music
  • The Comic Legacy of Joan Rivers
  • Funny Songs from Stage and Screen
  • Hope & Crosby:  Strolling Down Memory Lane
  • Hedy Lamarr: Navigating the Studio System
  • Rock N' Roll: The Beat Goes On  
  • Social Issues in Postwar Hollywood
  • The Golden Age of Hollywood
  • Bob Dylan's Jewish Music

Enjoy performing whether or not you have an audience? Get on your feet for classes such as Drama Group, Improv Group, Older Adult Chorus, monthly Sing Alongs, and Memoir-Writing Workshop.

If you prefer working with your hands, we have a vibrant range of studio arts classes, including shoemaking, knitting, sewing, and printmaking. Knitting Club, Artful Aging, and 50+ Painting and Drawing are designed specifically for the older adult cohort.

For more about Studio Arts at the JCC, click here.

For all film buffs, consider buying our season-long film pass or attending individual screenings of an assortment of films. Seniors may use the discount code SENIOR18 for $3 off the member price for tickets.

For more about Film at the JCC, click here.

Facilitator Profiles

Philip Harwood (Film History Lectures) has had a lifelong passion for the past. A film historian and educator, he is currently an adjunct professor of film at St. Francis College and an adjunct lecturer in the Hutton House Lectures, a lifelong learning program at LIU Post University. He currently teaches film at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, the 92nd Street Y, and Sundays at JASA at John Jay College. He also presents film programs at the Cinema Arts Centre, in Huntington, New York. He has also worked as the coordinator of lifelong learning at Queens College. He is a New York State public librarian and a published author. 

Janet R. Kirchheimer (Memoir-Writing Workshop) loves teaching memoir-writing for seniors at the JCC. An award-winning poet, she is the author of How to Spot One of Us and is currently producing After, a documentary that explores what it means to live and write after the Holocaust, featuring the works of renowned contemporary poets. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Limestone, Connecticut Review, Natural Bridge, and String Poet. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Janet was the recipient of a Drisha Institute for Jewish Education Arts Fellowship, is a teaching fellow at Clal—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, and is a licensed New York City tour guide.

Scott Klavan (Drama Group) has appeared as an actor on and off Broadway, on TV, and on the web. He  is a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. He is a published playwright, directs and develops plays, and worked as a script analyst for, among others, Paul Newman, CAA, Viacom, and HBO. For 10 years, Scott was a group leader in the field of drama therapy, and now teaches acting to seniors at the JCC, the 92nd Street Y, JASA, NCJW, and elsewhere, Four of his students were recently featured in The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Ellen Ratner (Older Adult Chorus) taught music in the New York City public school system for over 25 years. Since retiring, she has directed a 55-member Retired Teacher Chorus, performed sing-alongs in nursing homes, conducted weekly song sessions in the Alzheimer’s Unit at Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home, and sung tenor in her synagogue choir.

For more information about 60+ programming at the JCC, please contact Susan Lechter, Senior Director of Adult Programs, at slechter@mmjccmanhattan.org or call 646.505.4412.

Help us continue to ensure accessible programming for everyone. Please support 60+ programs at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.