Smith Center for Healing and the Arts

Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy


Cancer is no laughing matter. Or is it? Dozens of young adult cancer survivors are discovering that laughter may be the best medicine yet for coping with their illness.

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (Smith Center) is proud of its partnership with Livestrong to expand delivery of the successful Comedic Relief: Coping through Comedy program to all cancer survivors in the greater Washington, DC community.

The brainchild of Charity Sade, a comedian and young adult cancer survivor, Comedic Relief: Coping through Comedy is a six-week standup comedy and comedic storytelling workshop group offered to cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and healthcare providers. The workshops provide a safe, creative environment for those touched by cancer to express themselves and find the humor surrounding difficulties in life and cancer. Initially created for young adult cancer survivors, the series includes a six-week writing and performance technique class with the opportunity to perform at a public showcase at the end of the series, plus twice monthly drop in comedy writing classes. Since being launched in 2019, demand for the program has been steadily growing, and so have their showcase audiences!

“We are thrilled to have the support of Livestrong as we expand this program across the DC cancer community,” detailed Smith Center’s Executive Director Lisa Simms Booth. “Laughter is a true superpower and its impact is evident in our program participants who channel their experiences into stand-up routines good enough for the late-night shows. It’s humor that creates a bridge which makes this life altering and isolating experience meaningful and provides a new way for connection. It is truly transformative. With this support, we can move beyond the young adult cancer community and reach all adults with cancer.”