The Unblockables


The Unblockables is an innovative course that brings improv skills to people who stutter. It is a collaborative effort between Tightrope Improv Theatre and Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc. This is a project I have been involved in since its inception in March 2021.

The Unblockables is lead Dan Dumsha, the Director of Work and Wellness at Tightrope Theatre. Dan is an experienced consultant and improviser with a background in education. Joining him is Wendy Duke, the Director of Columbia Speech and Language Services Inc. Wendy is speech pathologist with decades of experience treating people who stutter. Finally, I round out this trio of instructors. I bring my lived experience as a person who stutters along with my acting and performance background to the mix. Together, we have developed this course from a two-hour proof of concept pilot to a three-week virtual course.



Week 1: Presence and saying "YES"

Exercises focus on learning to trust yourself, using silence, owning your space and delivering with confidence.

Week 2: Laughter 

As people who stutter, we often take live and speaking VERY seriously. Everyone can seem like life and death and not at all funny. By learning to laugh, we can identify our sense of humour and really learn to let go and play.

Week 3: Celebrating Mistakes 

No one likes making mistakes, but by redefine our relationship to mistakes and learn that failure is actually an opportunity to laugh, learn and grow. This brings freedom and ease to speaking or stuttering!

Week 3 (Evening): Family and Friend Showcase

In the evening of the third week, there is an optional showcase where you will get to demonstrate and play all the games you will have learnt over the three week with family and friends. This will be led by Dan, Wendy and myself and participation is optional and free of embarrassment and fear!



For me, this whole experience has been amazing. Getting to help co-create and co-facilitate something like the Unblockables has shown me that I can embrace and celebrate my stutter in a truly beneficial way. Additionally, I have learnt so much from both Dan and Wendy and I am proud of how I have stepped into my role with the Unblockables and can share the news that there is currently a scholarship in my name being offered to help anyone who needs financial assistance to take this course. All you have to do is e-mail Dan at



For further information about the Unblockables, the instructors and upcoming courses please consult the Tightrope Theatre website at: