Seniors as Stars

Some of the players may be novices in the world of theater, but all have plenty of experience on the stage of life.

Organized in 2002, Seniors as Stars performs at senior centers, schools, churches, theater groups — anywhere they’re invited.

The company is led by Phyllis Frick, a 19-year Broadway veteran whose credits include L’il Abner, Carnival!, The Boys from Syracuse and Copa Cabana.

They incorporate both music and dancing in the shows that they do with senior citizens. Surveys from seniors showed that they preferred something light and fun. They said they have enough drama in their own lives.

They’re seniors have enjoyed doing some TV commercials as a result of their local exposure. SAS member, John Creson, has appeared in several independent films and is currently working on a new movie.

SAS welcomes all ages, experienced or novice. Nobody is too old and everything is free, Frick said. Most are seniors since shows and practices are usually on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

“It seems like anything we seniors can do to keep our minds active and our bodies going is good,” said new player Joyce Green of Buffalo. “We can sit home when we go to the home. The more you keep going and the more people and experiences you encounter in your life, the younger you’re going to stay.”  Green said she loved being in plays in high school. SAS looked like fun. “I was so glad when I read that there was something like this available to us older… more experienced… mature people,” said Green with a smile. “I told them when I came in that my enthusiasm may far outweigh my talent, but I’m here, and I’m a ham.”

Ballroom dance instructor Her-Mei Hawkins also came to check it out. “I just saw the notice in the newspaper and I think I have talent … not sure what, but I came to find out. I just think I can do lots of things,” said Hawkins.

Another regular, Shirley Ryan, has been in several productions. “When I’m trying to learn my lines I’m sorry I ever showed up here and then when you get into it, you perform just great and you wouldn’t do anything else,” said Ryan. “Speaking in front of people never bothered me. It’s the singing. I could never be in a musical because I can’t carry a tune.”

Frick, whose professional name is Phyllis Ford, started her own ballet and tap dancing studio at age 14 in Lebanon, where her family had moved from Tulsa, Okla. “It paid most of my way through college,” she said. After a career that included acting, dancing, singing, choreography, television and films, she received her master’s degree in theater and dance at Missouri State University in 2002. She founded Seniors as Stars as part of her master’s project.


Phyllis Frick, Artistic Director
819 N Cedarbrook Ave. Apt. E
Springfield MO 65802

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