From:                              Senior Theatre Resource Center <>

Sent:                               Tuesday, September 17, 2019 1:01 PM


Subject:                          Senior Theatre newsletter: Autumn and Halloween shows, how to start a Senior Theatre, and combating ageism


ArtAge Publications Newsletter
September, 2019

View this email in your browser


Ageism starts here

Bonnie's Column: Ageism

This image of young girls could easily have been replaced by one of older people--you know with grouchy, unkempt oldsters on the left, and bright, intelligent, positive elders on the right. This is what ageism looks like--stereotypes, not real people with hopes, dreams, and goals. It's as though ageism is one of the last acceptable ways to discriminate. Yet, if all goes well, we all hope to age, to grow old with grace and charm after a life well lived. Why discriminate against yourself?

Here are some of the facts:

  • People who reach age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.4 years
  • Older women outnumber older men with 126 women for every 100 men. At age 85+, there are 187 women to 100 men
  • One in every seven Americans is 65+

From the start of my career, I wanted to use theatre to help older adults explore theatre so they could continue or discover the thrill of performing on stage. I work with seniors because it's my art form. Yet, I also wanted to use it to show that growing older can be a great time of life. What can be more positive than older adults in a well-performed show! I want to see real seniors, not ones that are botoxed and fake. Wrinkles are well-earned and should be worn with distinction.

Use theatre to create more positive, realistic images of older people. Use their 19.4 years of seniorhood to bring theatre to them and to their audiences!

Best in theatre,

Bonnie L. Vorenberg
President, ArtAge Publications

More facts about older adults are at the Older Americans Profile


How to Start a Senior Theatre

Fall is a great time to start a Senior Theatre. Begin with classes and only move onto productions when you're ready. We have many resources for classes and for people who are starting Senior Theatre. Take a look at:

We are always here to help you in any way. Just ask!


Autumn and Halloween Shows



Get in the mood for the new season with these fun and spooky plays! Save $5 on the following e-scripts until September 30th!

A Will to Murder: A NEW Play by
Bob Naquin
45 minute mystery
5 women, 2 men, 1 either
William "Billy Bob" Thornburg has died in his sleep. A cast of unsavory relatives, a corrupt lawyer, a sexy maid, and a devious butler circle the body to divide the spoils of Mr. Thornburg's wealth.

Angel in Disguise (or how to get your husband to wear a costume)
10 minute comedy
1 man, 1 woman
What’s a woman to do if she can’t get her husband to dress up like an angel for a costume party? The answer will have the audience laughing!

Witch One
10 minute comedy
2 women
Life is always about the unintended consequences, even if you're a witch! When an unsuspecting bride makes a rude remark about Trudy’s hat, the spell is cast.

Jus’ Tus
10 minute murder mystery
1 man, 1 woman
Mystery surrounds the death of Nell’s husband and Sheriff Wally is suspicious.

Who Shot Fred?
10 minute mystery comedy
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!

Head First of Feet First?
10 minute mystery comedy
1 man, 3 women, 1 either
Did Malachi Throckmorton accidentally fall from the balcony of The Copa Coconut Hotel or did he commit suicide? A hysterically zany 1940s-style mystery-farce.

Do you Believe in Magick?
12 minute comedy
3 women
How do you get someone to ask you on a date when you're a witch? Love potions? Magic charms? Or, just a carefully dropped hint.

A Profusion of Roses
10-15 minute mystery
2 women
A seriously wonderful play! With strong women’s roles, this show features a mother, daughter, and an absent “sister” in a mysterious relationship.

Never Wear a Dead Man’s Shoes
15 minute comedy
1 man, 2 women
Sometimes it may be wise to listen to superstitions, but when an Aunt offers you her late husband’s shoes, run!

Murder at the Movies
40 minute murder mystery spoof
6 men, 5 women
Charlie Chin the Three’s misadventures are hilarious as he tries to find the villain. Slapstick fun from the beginning to the final curtain!

The Haunted Holiday Hotel
5 men, 9 women, 6 either
75 minute comedy
Jam-packed with zany characters and mysteries to solve. The fun and laughter can be enjoyed at any time of year!

Save $5 on the above e-scripts until September 30th!


Use Benefit Performances
to make a difference in the community


We know that Senior Theatre benefits performers and audiences, but what about the community? A few Senior Theatres around the U.S. have been making a bigger impact than usual with each performance.

Audience members enjoying dinner with Just a Song at Twilight

  • Just a Song at Twilight was performed along with a yummy dinner in August to benefit the Robertson County Senior Center. So many people showed up to support this important focal point in the community that effort brought in $2,650!
  • Jack Benny's Not 39 Anymore's lead character spends his retirement creating one scheme after another. His latest involves socks and makes him a "sock magnate!" When the producers discovered that homeless individuals ask for socks more than any other item, they knew they could both help the community and bring focus to the production. After the show was over, the producers delivered over 600 pairs of socks to StreetReach. What a great way to help the community.

  Audience members donated 600+ pairs of socks at Jack Benny's Not 39 Any More

Need some fundraising inspiration? Check out these plays matched with organizations that can always use extra help. The sky is the limit!

The Cat Lady Christmas, a NEW Play by Allison and Margaret Engel, can benefit the Humane Society or your local animal shelter

  • This fun show about a cat-loving lady would be a great fit with a donation to a humane society or animal shelter. For more ideas, visit our Animals, Cats, and Dogs page!

The Glove to benefit The Trevor Project or the National Center for Transgender Equality

  • The Glove is about two grandparents and their feelings about their grandchild changing their gender identity. Promoting awareness about this issue is the perfect time to raise money for the organizations above. For more, visit our page of LGBTQ+ plays!

Sometimes a Rainbow can benefit your local homeless shelter

  • Sometimes a Rainbow is a musical about Cordy, an older woman who discovers the meaning and joy of life while living on the streets in Washington, D.C. Pair this show with donations to your local homeless shelter or homeless advocacy group for a huge impact.

Love in 4/4 Time, a NEW Play by Gary Young, can benefit the Alzheimer's Association or the Dementia Society of America

  • This poignant show about aging awareness could make an even bigger difference when paired with donations to the above charities or to Alzheimer's and dementia research funds.

Does This Show Make My Butt Look Fat? can benefit Love Your Body or Beauty Redefined

  • This fun and honest comedy shines a light on the importance of self-acceptance and body positivity. Check out the above organizations to make an inspiring statement at your next performance!


Who's Who in Senior Theatre:
Wise Owl Players


The Wise Owl Players offers adults 50+ the opportunity to act before live audiences by producing dramatic staged readings and offering classes to create these performances. As part of the Avenidas Senior Center and organization, their mission is to encourage social connections, personal growth, and self-esteem. The plays and classes are a cultural benefit to the greater community and demonstrate the richness that older adults bring to the society.

Click here to read more about The Wise Owl Players


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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Copyright © 2019 ArtAge Publications. All rights reserved.