Through a partnership between DTC and Ingleside Retirement Apartments, the Playwriting for Seniors Program was born. Now reaching a number of facilities, the program allows participants to meet and share stories of their past while also learning the fundamentals of playwriting.
Workshop participants meet once a week for 10-15 weeks to write their own original plays, often drawn from their own life histories. Reflecting on their own lives aids residents in cognitive retention, in the communication of life histories to each other and to loved ones. Additionally, the project contributes to “ego integrity,” posited by psychosocial expert Erik Erikson as the eighth stage of human development, and a necessary antidote to despair and depression which are thought to be pre-cursors to dementia.
At the end of the multi-week program, participants have their original pieces performed by professional actors to share their experiences with their community and family.
For more information, contact our Education & Community Engagement Department at 302-594-1104 ext. 204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY IT MATTERS
Mature citizens comprise an increasingly large part of American society and the over-65 population is projected to be twice as large by 2030 as in 2000. Unfortunately, our society is under-prepared for this demographic shift and will require programs and services to support “productive aging.”
The value of the arts in improving the lives and classroom performance of young people has been well understood for years, but more recent medical research by the Center on Aging, Health, and Humanities at George Washington University suggests that elders who participate in professionally conducted arts programming use less medication, have fewer doctor visits, experience elevation of mood, show increases in independent functioning and fair better in measurement of depression, loneliness and morale.
I began writing and going through things I've been holding in for years ... it's been a real gift.
–Alice Roberts, returning playwright at Weston Senior Center
NEW for older adults!
DTC’s Golden Voices, an offshoot of DTC’s celebrated Senior Playwriting program, is a program that promotes and fosters the creativity of older adults in writing for the theatre. Older adults do not have to belong to a senior group or center; individuals are encouraged to write and submit their work on their own!
Writers should submit a one-page “monologue-style” memory of no more than 500 words following this theme:
Tell us a story about the radio and you.
DTC’s upcoming production of Million Dollar Quartet shares the story of the evening in 1956 when four remarkable musicians united at a small music studio and played the music that made each of them famous. This theme for Golden Voices is inspired by these artists, for through the medium of the radio, their music reached millions of Americans during the early age of rock and roll.
Take a trip down memory lane and recall a moment in time when the radio was a central facet of an experience you had. Perhaps you listened to Elvis, or the Supremes, or your favorite baseball broadcaster. Or maybe you heard the Fireside Chats of President Roosevelt or reports from the wartime front. Perhaps you had a favorite radio comedy, mystery, or even sports program that you tuned in to regularly. Your story does not have to be earth-shattering to matter—just something memorable or important to you! A sample story is found in the writing guide link here.
This memory should be written in first-person (I-language). Accounts that represent the truth of the writer and the writer’s world and/or life experience are preferred over fiction; however, truth may instead be an inspiration for the work, and names or other details changed if desired. Emailed submissions are preferred. Submissions may be included in the body of the email or attached in a Word or PDF document. The deadline to submit your writing is December 15, 2021. Email submissions to email@example.com.
DTC will collect all submissions and respond to each writer. All submissions will be gathered into a single PDF document shared on our website and/or social media account until June 30, 2022. DTC will further cull selections from several entries to create a theatrical reading celebrating the Golden Voices works and will be presented through a public performance (live and/or online). The performance will be recorded and posted online for sharing beyond the walls of the theatre.
Please see the attached writer’s guide for more information about the timeline, parameters, and helpful strategies for writing your monologue. All writers will be credited by name along with their creative content. DTC will maintain a printed copy of the complete PDF containing all entries for archival purposes. There is no fee for participation.
Senior Playwriting is generously supported by:
The 1916 Foundation