As they say, “the show must go on.” And for Atlanta’s seniors, the show continues to play, wherever those seniors may be.
Theatre-To-Go provides professional live theatre and interactive experiences in venues where seniors live and gather. Bringing performances directly to the seniors, elderly adults can enjoy an entertaining experience without having to leave the comfort of the places they live and play.
Averaging more than 55 performances every year, the theatre presents its touring company (complete with playwrights, actors, directors, musicians, choreographers, and designers) to local venues. Most performances are about an hour long, and are great for senior adult communities, family gatherings, and civic and fraternal organizations.
The program selects humorous, poignant, entertaining pieces that relate to the senior audience but aren’t necessarily senior-focused. Actors audition for roles, and the shows are casted with both novice and seasoned thespians. Actors are able to hone their skills and also do something meaningful.
“For some, it’s just another way to act out in the community, but for others, they really truly enjoy giving back,” said Lois Koepke, Executive Director of Theatre-To-Go.
Theatre-to-Go treats their shows as professional performances, offering playbills, seating their guests, and using an emcee to get the crowd ready. Some venues even offer a pre-show meal for the audience.
The programs promote “creative aging” activities, which focus on professionally-run arts initiatives for the adult community. This even includes interactive theatre, and a chance for senior participants to try improvisation. Through a four-week program, students get to learn improv and then perform.
“They learn a new skill, they are engaged socially, then they perform it and it gives them a new skill,” Koepke said.
In the Acting at Any Age program, seniors are taught the fundamentals of acting, including character analysis, speaking in character voice, and performance. They can also take part in a memory theatre program, where audience members share a memory from their life, which is then acted out. Koepke said this helps keep their mind sharp and lets them think back on a special memory.
“That piece of what we do is really special,” Koepke said.
Up next for Theatre-to-Go is Restless in Resthaven, a walk through Resthaven Cemetery to meet characters from Alpharetta’s past. Actors play historical figures, like a baseball player, a veteran, and a buck dancer.
The group’s holiday performance is “Golden Wanderers,” a jewelry heist whodunit.
Koepke said there is always great interest in the programs, so much so that they currently have two casts for each show. “We are ok with that and we want to continue to bring the joy to seniors. We will have triple and quadruple casts if we need to.”
Those interested in learning more about the organization can visit their website at www.atlantatheatretogo.com. Show, audition, and donation information can be found there.