We are often asked questions about money, funding,
and budgeting for Senior Theatre. It's always a fun to help with
these situations because each company has a unique mission with
One thing that we usually recommend is that companies charge for
their performances. If I am asked to teach or direct for free, I
reflect on my years of education and experience and then I quickly
respond with, "When the plumber does his work for free, I will
do mine for free!" If we under-charge, we under-value.
Try some of these ideas:
- When setting fees, charge as much as the
market will bear. Set rates that are reasonable and use them
to pay for supplies, materials, transportation, and the other
costs you may have.
- Build funds in your bank account so your
company will more stability and can take more artistic risks.
- Charge for Senior Theatre classes. Even a
nominal rate will encourage students to make a commitment and
as a result they will attend more regularly.
- If you work in a retirement community, ask
the Activities or Enrichment Department staff to pay for
materials, cast copies, and for royalties. The marketing
department might be able to fund a large percentage of
production costs. Be sure to invite prospective residents to
- If your company is a non-profit, submit
grants to both arts and aging sources and seek contributions.
- Have a collection jar, take donations.
- You can get more detailed help about fees,
grants, and more in Funding Your Senior Theatre.
Senior Theatre benefits the actors, audience
members, the families, and the culture at large. It’s valuable, so
charge for it!
Yours in Theatre,
Bonnie Vorenberg, ArtAge President
Hot off the Press:
We are excited to announce that our new book, Improv with Older Actors,
has just been released. It's the first of its kind!
We love doing improv with seniors and include it in every class we
teach. There's no wrong response--everything is right! It's easy,
quick, stimulating, and there's no memorization! Improv is so
popular that some Senior Theatre companies focus only on improv
both in classes and in performances toured to their community. The
free-flowing format brings out the creativity in everyone and in no
time at all strangers become friends.
Improv with Older Actors
Filled with 120 pages of improvs, the book helps you learn the
basics, explore warm ups, incorporate memories, and build stories.
Discover how easy it is to transform improv from classroom to
performance with easy adaptations for those with mobility issues.
This useful guide will be one you’ll turn to time and again. $24.95
Improv with Older Actors Flash Cards
Use the deck of 100+ cards to add to your improvs. It includes
prompts for Who
am I, Where am I, What am I Doing, plus Emotion Cards,
and the ones you pull out when all else fails, the Raise the Stakes
cards. They have unlimited combinations, all that end with fun!
The set is on
sale for a low, 'hot off the press' price of $30 until May 29! Click here to learn more.
Our shows are being performed
The cast of
ArtAge shows are being staged around the world! Here are
just a few:
Spaghetti Western (New!) was
performed in Illinois
30 minute comedy with 3 men, 4 women
Rio, a lone cowboy, likes his spaghetti plain when he
wanders into a small western town world famous for its
spaghetti & meatballs. This play asks you to choose sides, “Are
you a Plainer or a Meatballer?”
was performed in Maine
Two act, 90 minute comedy with 4 men, 5 women, 1 either
Gladys dreams of being a celebrity. To fulfill her
fantasy, she enters her play in a national contest only
to find herself head over heels in comedic trouble. Audiences love
Hot Pursuit (New!) was
performed in California and New Jersey
30 minute comedy with 1 man, 4 women, 2 offstage female
voices (can be double cast)
When Helen’s brother Larry comes to visit, three of her ‘available’
female friends ‘just happen to drop in,’ each bearing food! The
action is frantic and funny as the friends outdo each other to
snare poor Larry. Pair this show with Casserole Casanova.
was performed in California
5 minute comedy with 1 man, 1 woman, 1 either
In this laugh-a-minute skit, Hank goes to his trusty old
physician for his annual physical. But things don't go exactly
was performed in California
5 minute comedy with 1 man, 1 woman
George and Gracie briefly share the challenges of getting
older. Through a happy exchange of ideas, they emerge
hopeful about the future.
Up and Down (New!) was
performed in Texas
10 minute comedy with 1 man, 1 woman
What happens when two people get trapped in an elevator? Find out
in this delightful comedy about anxiety, anger, and connecting. Fun
and very easy to stage!
Who Shot Fred was
performed in Missouri, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania
10 minute mystery comedy with 1 man, 3 women, 1 either
Who could have shot Fred at the Moon Over Poughkeepsie Hotel? This
hilarious 1940s-style whodunit takes place in a residential hotel
catering to seniors. Sure to keep audiences guessing!
The Pie Ladies was performed in Michigan,
Wisconsin, Washington State, and Canada
25 minute comedy with 6 women, 3 either
The Pie Ladies pick up their rolling pins to make dozens of pies
for the church supper. But as they busily bake pies, they decide to
create their own country!
plays are all on sale. Save $5 on e-scripts until May 29!
It's sometimes hard to know which play to choose, so feel free to contact us for help making
Janey Makes a
We found this gem of a film called Janey Makes A Play
about an active, creative 90-year-old theatre director! It feels
like this inspiring piece is perfectly tailored to those who care
about Senior Theatre and healthy aging. An enjoyable two-minute
trailer for the film is viewable HERE.
The folks behind the film are beginning a national outreach
campaign to travel with the film to screen it and give a lively
presentation about the importance of intergenerational arts,
healthy aging, and the value of older peoples’ stories. Janey is the
perfect symbol for anti-ageism in America!
Given the goal with the film is to empower older adults and help
theatre companies raise awareness and funding for their art, it
just seems like our missions align perfectly. We highly recommend
you consider buying a screening kit, showing the film, and even
having the director speak at your event.
To learn more about hosting a screening for your community or to
buy a DVD, visit www.janeymakesaplay.com. Contact
Jonathan Pickett at firstname.lastname@example.org or
(661) 433-5814 (he’s very friendly).