Michael Burgess, a professional jazz musician, to Peggy Burgess, writer, director and producer of a stage show he had just witnessed: “Well, Mom, you had people who couldn’t act, couldn’t sing, and couldn’t dance. Some couldn’t see, some couldn’t hear, some couldn’t walk—and still it was one-hell-of-a show!”
Michael hit the nail on the head, and also defined what I do in the theatrical vein.
The show, “Camel Lot Revisited,” involved 25 performers, most of whom had never been on stage before, all between 75 and 95 years of age. There had been no auditions; everyone–even those on walkers–who wanted to be in the show was in the show, an advantage of an original script.
Indeed, it was one-hell-of-a-show! It played for two sold-out performances and netted over $3,500 for a scholarship fund. It also brought out some old but new stage performers who asked almost before the curtain closed, “What are we doing next? Sign me up!”
That was 17 years ago. Since then, there have been 16 subsequent shows. They were all successful as gratifying stage experiences for the participants, enjoyable for audiences, and rewarding as fundraisers. The practice of including any and all, regardless of abilities, or disabilities, continues.
It is both my mission and my pleasure to create and produce these fully scripted comedies for older seniors. Necessity has taught me to write flexible scripts. My background in vocal performance has taught me to use the magic of music and life has taught me the entertainment value of humor.
I am delighted to find in the Senior Theatre Resource Center a source that reinforces my passion for giving these older seniors their moment in the spotlight. I look forward to sharing experiences and insights with people of like mind.
Phone: (813) 634-8046