Sandy and John Laszlo: The More or Less Players
For the past 10 years, members of a Roswell, Georgia drama group have found a fun way to stay mentally and socially active. These seniors, ages 60 to 86, produce plays that challenge them to exercise their minds, bodies, and creative and social skills. The group, fondly named “The More or Less Players,” is sponsored by the Roswell Adult Recreation Center. The unique feature of this group of thespians is that except for a paid professional director, all the functions of the production of a play are performed by the members of the group, most of whom have had little or no previous experience with theatre. For example, the group selects the plays, acts in the shows, designs scenery, creates costumes and props, and publicizes the plays.
Any senior who wants to be involved in a production can participate. Accommodations are made for seniors who have physical limitations including being in a wheelchair. In the past, the group involved a senior who was suffering from ALS, another who was undergoing cancer treatment, and one who had dialysis three times a week. Seniors who experience isolation and emotional issues have found that their involvement in the group lessens grief, loss, and loneliness, helps with adjusting to retirement, and provides a way to meet new people and form relationships.
The most recent production was a 1920s comedy that portrays rival Chicago gangs. For one scene in the play, members of the cast learned to dance the Charleston. To prepare for the play, members researched books and old photographs, listened to music from the 1920s, and created costumes reflecting the fashions of the period. These kinds of collaborative activities help seniors stay connected, all while having fun!
Sandy and John Laszlo