Senior Theatre Conference at ATHE 2015

improv laugh lighter

Improvisation was featured in the 2014 Senior Theatre Program

The Senior Theatre program at the 2015 ATHE Conference was a great opportunity to connect with other enthusiasts. We met in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from July 30-August 2 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The ATHE organization has supported Senior Theatre for decades, even though most of our participants and attendees work on the grass-roots level with older actors. It was a friendly gathering, filled with information and good ideas.

See images and descriptions of the 2014 Senior Theatre Program!

Here’s the dynamic program:

FRIDAY, JULY 31

Performance: Create Your Autobiographical Monologue, 1 person show, or Performance

Learn how to use memories to create characters based on your life experiences. Then shape the material into many different kinds of performances.

Chair: Bonnie L. Vorenberg, ArtAge Publications
Presenters:

  • Gai Jones: Gai Jones: EdTA, AACT, AATE, CETA, DTASC, OACT, Americans for the Arts, SAG-AFTRA, “Creating your Autobiographical Monologue and/or One Person Show”
  • Joy Reilly: Ohio State University, “Theatre is the New Orange: Prisoners Tell Their Stories”
  • Monciella Elder: Past Prime Players, Inc., “Women On Film, I See Me”

Panel: How to do Senior Theatre

Consider the upcoming aging revolution, then discover how working with older performers might bring you the joys, challenges, and artistic rewards you crave!

Chair: Bonnie L. Vorenberg, ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center
Presenters:

  • Sandy & John Laszlo: Roswell Georgia Adult Recreation Center, “The Stages of Growth & Development of a Senior Theatre or Make it Fun & They will Come”
  • Pat Beaven: University of Toronto Standardized Patient Program, Act Your Age Players, “Applied Theatre: Professional Role-Playing a Good Fit for Seniors’ Life-Experience and Theatre Skills”
  • Lois Dellar: Acting for Fun, “Acting for Fun: Why & How to Teach Senior Theatre Classes”
  • Monciella Elder: Past Prime Players, “Breathing Life Into Seniors Through Theatre”
  • Barbara Parisi: Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, “Mirrors by Bernard Myers”

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

Panel: I Remember: Using Memories to Create Theatre

Memories are rich fodder for theatre. Learn some popular ways to capture recollections, convert them to theatre, and produce successful productions.

Chair: Joy Reilly, Ohio State University
Presenters:

  • Ann McDonough: University of Nevada Las Vegas, “Creating Oral History Theatre”
  • Ellise Mayor: The Seasoned Performers, “It’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It!”
  • Catherine Frid: Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, “Our Voices: Senior Selfies”
  • Amy Insley: Director, Faculty ODU/CNU, “Bridging the Generation Gap”
  • Bonnie L. Vorenberg, ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center

Performance: The Chaperone, An Award Winning Film created from Life Stories

Learn how filmmakers used two men’s experiences to craft a short subject documentary. See the film, meet the actors, and be inspired.

Chair: Barbara Parisi
Participants:

  • Directors of and Actors in The Chaperone (Fraser Munden, Mike Glanz, Joey Lee, Neil Rathbone)
  • Ellise Mayor: The Seasoned Performers, “The Chaperone”

Panel: Explore the dynamic world of Canadian Senior Theatre

Senior Theatre grows and thrives in Canada. Discover some of the dynamic programs that present creative, stimulating work with older performers in all ability levels.

Chair: Vrenia Ivonoffski, Ryerson University’s Act II Studio
Presenters:

  • Pat Beaven: University of Toronto Standardized Patient Program, Act Your Age Players, “Act Your Age Players”
  • Lois Dellar: Acting for Fun, “Ten Years Acting for Fun”
  • Catherine Frid: Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, “Our Voices: Senior Selfies”
  • Dave Barnet: Drama Professor, University of Alberta, “GeriActors and Friends”
  • Bonnie L. Vorenberg, ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center

Panel: Senior Theatre Tips & Tricks

Discuss the techniques that help directors create successful Senior Theatre. Share your insights or listen, learn, and ask questions.

Chair: Bonnie L. Vorenberg, President ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center
Participants:

  • Monciella Elder: Past Prime Players, Inc., “Directing Past Prime Players”
  • Lois Dellar: Acting for Fun, “Directing Acting for Fun”
  • Sandy and John Laszlo: Roswell Georgia Adult Recreation Center, “Directing vs. Guiding Senior Theatre: Who’s in Charge?”
  • With input from the Senior Theatre attendees.

Senior Theatre Focus Group Dinner and Meeting

Meet at dinner to learn about the Focus Group and how you can contribute to its goals, leadership, and future plans. Discover Senior Theatre news and trends.

  • Chair: Barbara Parisi, Focus Group Rep, Long Island University Brooklyn Campus
  • Bonnie Vorenberg, Focus Group Conference Planner, ArtAge Senior Theatre Resource Center

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 2

Workshop: Performance Storytelling: Meet The GeriActors and Friends

Learn how to take participants through playfulness, collaborative improvisation, and play development presented by an intergenerational theatre company, now in its 13th year.

Chair: Vrenia Ivonoffski, Ryerson University’s Act II Studio
Participant:

  • Dave Barnet: Drama Professor, University of Alberta, “Playfulness, Improvisation and Play Development”

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 Make plans to join us in 2016!

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