Senior Theatre Program at the 2015 ATHE Conference–old

The Senior Theatre sessions 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.

If you need more convincing, see images and descriptions of the 2014 Senior Theatre Program!

Here’s this year’s dynamic program:

FRIDAY, JULY 31

2:15 PM to 3:45PM
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: Ann McDonough, University of Nevada Las Vegas
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”
  • Catherine Frid and Gloria Nye: Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, “Our Voices: Senior Selfies”
  • 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”

5:45 to 7:15PM
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”
  • Valerie Glover-Drolet: Artistic Director, Forever Young Theatre, “Senior Theatre for Health and Wellness”
  • Jim Boman: Senior Theatre Director, “Using Readers Theatre to Create Productions”
  • David Milne Smith: The Explorers Club, “Making Theatre with Motivational and Entertaining Stories”
  • 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”

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 1

8:15AM to 9:45AM
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:

  • Valerie Glover-Drolet: Artistic Director, Forever Young Theatre, “Creating “Our Moments to Remember”
  • Ann McDonough: University of Nevada Las Vegas, “Creating Oral History Theatre”
  • David Milne Smith: The Explorers Club, “Catching a Second Wind by the Impresario of International Adventures”
  • Ellise Mayor (AV to show video): The Seasoned Performers, “It’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It!”
  • Catherine Frid and Gloria Nye: Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, “Our Voices: Senior Selfies”

 

12:00 to 1:30 PM
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”

 

2:15 PM to 3:45 PM
Panel: Explore the dynamic world of Canadian Senior Theatre

Senior Theatre grows and thrives in Canada. Discover some of the creative 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”
  • Valerie Glover-Drolet: Artistic Director, Forever Young Theatre, “The Many Experiences of the Forever Young Theatre”
  • 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”

 

5:45 to 7:15PM
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”
  • Valerie Glover-Drolet: Artistic Director, Forever Young Theatre, “Directing the Forever Young Theatre”
  • 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?”
  • Jim Boman: Senior Theatre Director, “Directing Senior Theatre”
  • With input from the Senior Theatre attendees.

 

7:30 to 9:00 PM
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

11:30 to 1:00PM
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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 We hope you’ll make plans now to join us!

Scottsdale, AZ at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess from July 24-27, 2014. Below is the schedule:

joy cropped up

Joy Reilly

Exposing Theatre Students to Prison Theatre
Workshop

After older women inmates participated in Lifewriting classes, undergraduate theatre students were added to the experience bringing out new dimensions in both young and old.

Chair: Bonnie Vorenberg
Joy Reilly—Ohio State University

improv laugh lighterImprov Comedy Creates Joy for Actors of All Ages
Demonstration and Performance

Improvisation works like a dream! Learn how to use techniques in class and on stage to enhance skills like timing, cooperation, and most of all…comedy!

Chair: Joy Reilly
Penny Petersen, cast of the Sun Lakes Community Theatre’s ‘Improvables’

 

 

IMG_0577Fulfilling Older Performers’ Dreams: Where do you fit in?
Panel Discussion

With the advent of a new generation of older performers, theatre lovers of all ages are discovering that there’s something in it for everyone!

Chair: Bonnie Vorenberg
Bonnie Vorenberg—central info source for Senior Theatre
Rose Marie Kasper—producer
Steve Shear—playwright, director
Dr. J.C. Alvarez—producer
Lynnell Corbett—in a Senior Theatre company
Joy Reilly—college, university

barbara p

Barbara Parisi, Focus Group Rep

Senior Theatre Focus Group Meeting

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

Barbara Parisi, Focus Group Rep
Bonnie Vorenberg, Focus Group Conference Planner

The Steele Deall

How to Produce and Direct Interactive Courtroom Dramas
Workshop

Courtroom dramas are easy to direct and stage. Use The Steele Deal as your guide to theatre that’s audience participation at its best!

Chair: Bonnie Vorenberg
Steve Shear—PrimeTime Players
Susan Shear—PrimeTime Players

 

Peggy Burgess

Creating Theatre with and for Seniors
Panel Discussion and Performance

Learn how Senior Theatre companies combine scenes, improvisation workshops, murder mystery dinner theatre, and variety shows to create programs that have something for everyone.

Chair: J.C. Alvarez
Lynnell Corbett—Sun City Anthem Theatrical Society (SCATS)
Susan Shear—PrimeTime Players
Rose Marie Kasper—Sun River Community Theatre
Peggy Burgess—Freedom Plaza Senior Living

Theatrical Opportunities for Older Actors
Panel Discussion

After retirement, many older adults are turning and/or returning to their dreams of the stage. Discover the many ways to create opportunities for older performers.

Chair: Barbara Parisi
Barbara Parisi—Older male professional actors
DeLeon Grabowski—small communities, community colleges
Peggy Burgess—retirement communities
Dick McMahon—in films and commercials
Penny Petersen—community theatre

athe bathrobe croppedTaking Senior Theatre on the Road
Workshop and Performance

Chair: Penny Petersen

Learn how to set up a performing group that tours to senior audiences. Learn about organization, programming, and tips and tricks to make it successful.

J.C. Alvarez, Sanseria Murray, Sparking Memories Traveling Theatre
DeLeon Grabowski, The Siskiyou Senior Players

Click here to see the 2013 Senior Theatre sessions

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