From:                              Senior Theatre Resource Center <> on behalf of Senior Theatre Resource Center <>

Sent:                               Thursday, May 17, 2018 3:45 PM


Subject:                          Senior Theatre News and Plays for May


ArtAge Publications Newsletter
May, 2018

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The role of money in Senior Theatre

Bonnie's Column


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 special needs.

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 the show.
  • 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:
Improv with Older Actors

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! $17.50

The set is on sale for a low, 'hot off the press' price of $30 until May 29! Click here to learn more.


Plays on a Theme

Griddle Cakes is one many plays set on a park bench

Senior Theatre companies often tie shows together on a theme making short plays so very useful. We realized that many of our shows blend well when united with a similar setting or concept. So, we created a whole new web page for Plays on a Theme.

Use these lists to create a custom production of any length by combining scripts that have similar ideas. Stage short plays with longer ones, comedies with more serious ones. Whatever your needs, these popular themes will help you build a production that's just the thing for you!

Here are links to some of our popular and newest themes:
At the Department Store
Plays About Bingo
Plays About Dating
Plays About Gossip
Plays About Great Friends
Plays About Living Fully
Plays Performed on a Park Bench
Plays About Reunions
Plays About Strong Women
Plays About the Supernatural
Plays About Theatre and Performing

There are so many more! Take a look at the whole list to spark ideas for your next production.
Click here to see more themes.


Our shows are being performed
all over!


The cast of Finding Gladys

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?”

Finding Gladys (New!) 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 this show!

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.

You're My Doctor?! (New!) 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 as planned.

Canine Contact (New!) 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!

The above 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 selections!


Featured Film:
Janey Makes a Play

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 Contact Jonathan Pickett at or (661) 433-5814 (he’s very friendly). 


Visit our ever-changing website!

Our website features Senior Theatre information and is always being updated. The site is complete with plays, books, "Who's Who in Senior Theatre," plus news, trends, and FreeViews of the plays. Discover how to tie short shows together with our many plays on a theme. There is something for everyone!

Download our catalog:



The largest collection of plays, books, materials, and information for older performers.

Contact us at:

PO Box 19955, Portland OR 97280
503-246-3000 or 800-858-4998,

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