Newsletter January 2011

Senior Theatre Online January 2011
Table of Contents
Bonnie’s Column: Here come the Baby Boomers
Valentine’s Day plays
Tip of the Month: Using PowerPoint as a teleprompter
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Senior Theatre Resource Center
We help older adults fulfill their theatrical dreams!
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Bonnie’s Column: Here come the Baby Boomers
Bonnie Vorenberg
Bonnie Vorenberg

If you’ve been watching the news lately you know that the baby boomers are turning 65. This group of well educated, informed older adults will have an impact on the field, just as the theatre will impact the participants themselves.

Senior Theatre will look different once the baby boomers bring their unique perspective to the scene. New innovations, theories, and products for older adults will be adapted for the stage, not unlike the teleprompter idea in this month’s issue, below.

I’m excited to see a more open and creative attitude about aging portrayed on the stage. This generation of oldsters will find new ways to voice their opinions. I hope the boomers will use the stage to celebrate their wrinkles as well as their insights about life. Baby boomers have never been quiet and complacent and I don’t expect that to change!

Baby boomers will love being on stage. It will be one of the many adventures that will entice folks, whether or not they have ever acted before. Drama is a great way to expand horizons and develop a strong circle of friends. But the allure of lights, applause, and camaraderie will keep baby boomers in the limelight of the theatre.

Plays, books, and materials for baby boomer performers are available, here at ArtAge. We have something for every older person who wants to get involved in theatre, from novice to professional, even baby boomers!

Bonnie L. Vorenberg
ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center, President

Valentine’s Day plays
There's no better love than older love
There’s no better love than older love

It’s not too late to stage a Valentine’s Day show. Here are some Senior Theatre favorites. They all can be performed as a reading and most are short, approximately 10 minutes long. Your actors will enjoy creating the characters; your audiences will find the relationships fun and touching. Try:

Under a Magical Moon

Age on Stage (TM): 10 Minute Plays includes Cross Words and The Edge of Forever

Carol Burnett’s Old Folks Sketches

Gin and Tonic

Coconut Creme Pie

Just a Song at Twilight

Skits for Seniors: Holiday Plays

…and others. Click on the title for the synopsis, number of characters, and other information about the shows.

Click here to read about the Valentine’s Day shows
Tip of the Month: Using PowerPoint as a teleprompter

Frank Hebert, a Senior Theatre director in Alamo TX, had trouble with actors learning their lines. So he developed an easy and successful way to use PowerPoint as a teleprompter.

First, Frank enlarges the script in a word processing program, then he transfers only the lines, not the stage directions, into PowerPoint, a program often included with Word. Each character’s lines are in a large font and in a special color. He mounts 19″ computer monitors backstage, stage right, stage left, and downstage. All are at eye level. During rehearsals and shows, a crew member advances the PowerPoint as the play progresses. No matter where the actor is onstage, they can glance at their lines.

The reasonably-priced telepromoters have been very helpful. Cast members don’t have to worry about forgetting lines or missing cues. Actors can begin working on character, emphasis, and other theatrical elements early in rehearsals. Best yet, the company can pull a 20-minute show together quickly, shortening the rehearsal period.

Frank cautions, “Start working with the teleprompters early in the rehearsal process.” Actors need to be trained to glance at the teleprompters, not read from them so that the audience is unaware of the teleprompters. Also, Frank urges that directors plan the blocking to make it easy for actors to look at the teleprompters.

If you use the system, let us know how it works for you.

Have a great tip, a new idea, or a successful technique? Send it to us!

We’re on facebook and youtube
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Check out our new facebook page.

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