Subject: Senior Theatre Online from the Senior Theatre Resource Center
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Date: 10/11/2012 4:29 PM

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Senior Theatre Online October 2012
Table of Contents
Bonnie's Column: Great Senior Theatre directors are special people
Submit Your Ideas for the 2013 ATHE Sessions--October 17 Deadline
Our Favorites
Participate in the First Senior Theatre Survey
Professional of the Month: Harriet Lynn
View our Catalog!
We're on facebook and youtube
Quote of the Month
Senior Theatre Resource Center

We help older adults fulfill their theatrical dreams!
PO Box 19955
Portland OR 97280
Fax: 503-246-3006

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Bonnie's Column: Great Senior Theatre directors are special people
Bonnie L. Vorenberg consults with Senior Theatre directors
Bonnie L. Vorenberg consults with Senior Theatre directors

This week we received a frantic call from the producer of a Senior Theatre show. She had just returned from a rehearsal for a play they were supposed to perform at the end of October. She was in shock because the show was never going to be ready in time. You see, they hired a director who did not know Senior Theatre.

The show was a mess. Actors didn't know their lines and blocking hadn't even been touched for the second act. It was obvious that the director didn't know how to give precise directions, didn't stick to his rehearsal schedule, and totally over-estimated the physical endurance of the actors. With no options available, the producer cancelled the show, leaving the cast and crew depressed.

The situation is a good reminder that directing older actors takes a special person. You need to know theatre but, perhaps equally important, you need to know how to adapt your techniques to older actors. It takes a good connection with seasoned actors to understand your actors' unique capabilities. Directing older actors takes a blend of theatrical know-how plus a deep understanding of the senior performers' needs and goals. Of course, selecting an appropriate play is important too.

Fortunately, most Senior Theatre companies don't have to cancel their shows. But if you have problems, of any kind, please think of us. We can help you with consultations, ideas, and materials. If you're learning how to direct seniors, turn to the many helpful books and materials in our collection. We can even connect you with local resources. Whatever you might need in Senior Theare, we can help you find solutions. When Senior Theatre presents challenges, think of us. We're here to help you be successful--and not frantic!

Bonnie L. Vorenberg
ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center, President

Click here to read about Directing Older Actors

Submit Your Ideas for the 2013 ATHE Sessions--October 17 Deadline
Sometimes a Rainbow, performed at the 2012 conference
Sometimes a Rainbow, performed at the 2012 conference

The Senior Theatre sessions at the 2013 ATHE Conference are a great opportunity for you to contribute your expertise to a national audience. The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress from August 1-4, 2013. We are looking for panel presentations, workshops, papers, and performances on topics like:

  • Using theatre to advocate for senior issues and needs
  • Sharing life stories for legacy and education
  • Street Theatre for and with seniors
  • Senior Theatre in retirement housing
  • Senior Theatre for health, wellness
  • Funding Senior Theatre
  • New ideas in Senior Theatre
  • Intergenerational Theatre
  • Performances by Senior Theatre companies

Let us know your ideas!

October 17 Deadline!

Click here to submit your ideas for the 2013 Senior Theatre sessions

Our Favorites
Under a Magical Moon, our favorite love story
Under a Magical Moon, our favorite love story

Now, with over 350 books, plays, and materials in our collection, it is sometimes difficult to make a selection. So, we've pulled together a list of some of our favorites. Click on the titles to read more about our top choices.

30-Minute Comedy:
The Day They Kidnapped Blanche- When residents in area retirement homes start to disappear, the FBI takes notice. Blanche Sherwin, English teacher-turned-actress, lands the role of a lifetime when a federal agent asks her to go undercover to gather evidence.

Comedy for Two Women:
New Car Shopping- Honey, a middle-aged married woman is shopping for a new car. The salesmen send her to Cardelia, the agency’s only saleswoman. A humorous and exaggerated tale of what happens when Cardelia uses the hard sell to get Honey into a new auto.

Comedy for Two Men:
It's Your Move- Set in Chatterton Country Club, a 55+ retirement community with a crazy cast of characters, Bob and Joe, friends and next-door neighbors for 23 years, share more than a game of checkers. It’s all guy talk until Bob reveals a secret about Joe’s wife.

Reader’s Theatre Karaoke®: Love Conquers the Wild West- One of our new Reader’s Theatre Karaoke® scripts, complete with music, and sound effects on a DVD-no karaoke machine required! The melodrama is set in the 1870’s when Daisy Fontaine, a young and beautiful New York socialite is engaged to marry the man of her dreams. However, as the wedding approaches she gets news that her brother, an early settler in the Wild West, has lost his wife to the fever. Features the normal good guys and bad guys that make melodrama fun!

A Bag Full of Miracles- You’re going to love this contemporary musical comedy for older performers. Three song-filled, action-packed acts with a cast of up to 23, mostly seniors. It’s been performed throughout the US and Canada to rave reviews, standing ovations and profitable runs! Watch this space for our soon-to-be new favorite musical, Sometimes a Rainbow!

Holiday Show:
Frank's 75th Christmas- Set in a Florida retirement community, your audience will laugh their way through this short holiday play about a pessimistic character that gets a special visit on Christmas Eve which changes his bad attitude and his listless life.

Readers Theatre Comedy: 10-minute show:
What's on T.V.?- From Age on Stage®: Comedies for Readers Theatre Vol I, this favorite finds the narrator trying to watch four totally different television shows that are all airing at the same time. She keeps switching back and forth among the separate shows, which results in a pretty surprising and amusing juxtaposition of program material.

Now Hear This- In this fast-paced comedy six characters on a cruise ship continuously misinterpret passed messages, resulting in disastrously funny mix-ups as they become increasingly involved.

Teaching Tool:
The Improv Game- This deck of who, what, when, where, and why cards provides jumping off points to stimulate creativity, imagination, and spontaneity. There are unlimited combinations for hours of enjoyment in drama classes, at parties, or wherever you want to have some fun! Successful with people of all ages and abilities.

How-To Book:
Drama Activites with Older Adults- Drama comes alive in this practical guide. With step-by-step instructions, directing creative drama, improvisation, and basic acting becomes easy. Great for use in the classroom or actor training and is a wonderful tool for activity directors.

Age on Stage®: Comedies for Readers Theatre Vol I- Sparked with funny characters and humorous situations, lively dialogue, sudden surprises, and just the right touch of charming goofiness, these plays are great fun for audiences and performers alike. This collection is an invitation to laughter!

Mrs. Palsgraf's Dream Team- Based on a famous 1928 law case, this short play with four characters is a comedy about outcasts, who will become footnotes to history. Even though every lawyer in the United States should be familiar with the name Palsgraf, little is known about the real Mrs. Palsgraf. This play presents an account of what may have transpired behind the scenes.

You're the Jury: The State vs Max Cooper- Get the audience involved with the action! This courtroom drama comes with the jury ballot, reporter’s questions and more–everything to make this a suspenseful, fun, theatrical event. Great readers theatre!

Love Story:
Under a Magical Moon- In three short scenes we visit the past and present of two old friends who have not seen each other for 30 years…who just may have some sort of future together. A charming play that will blow a breath of fresh summer breeze across the stage, and maybe even bring a tear to the corner of the eye at the end.

Click here to see our 2012 Best Seller list

Participate in the First Senior Theatre Survey

You're invited to participate in first Senior Theatre survey to determine the impact of theatre on the quality of life of seniors. ArtAge’s Senior Theatre Resource Center, in a joint project with esteemed researchers Helga and Tony Noice, are distributing and analyzing this Senior Theatre survey. Forms are available for both paper and online submissions.

Thanks for helping the field by participating in this important survey!

Click here for the survey

Professional of the Month: Harriet Lynn
Harriet Lynn
Harriet Lynn

Harriet Lynn has spent her career in theatre, dance, film, radio, television, arts education, and oral history. Currently through the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Harriet is directing For All the World to Hear, a powerful oral history performance of ten seniors sharing their experiences of being active in the civil rights movement.

As the Co-Manager/Director of the Maryland Historical Society Players at the Maryland Historical Society, Ms. Lynn guides a performance troupe and tours outreach programs bringing history alive to schools, museums, and retirement communities.

Harriet's one-woman performance of Ella Shields: The Woman Behind the Man, included in the recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary National Biography, has been a success in various museums, universities, cruise ships, and is still available for bookings.

Click here to learn more about Harriet Lynn

View our Catalog!
Click on the catalog!
Click on the catalog!

We're on facebook and youtube
Check out our facebook page.
Check out our facebook page.

Facebook: Now we can have a more extended conversation, by using our facebook page. Become a 'fan,' then send in information to keep the connection and the movement growing!

Click here to visit our facebook page.

Quote of the Month

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. --Frank Lloyd Wright

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