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    Our Play's the Thing Recruitment Event

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    Group Members Making Frozen Images

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    "Cinderella and the Big Choice" from The Shoe Show


Our Play's the Thing: A Creative Aging Program

Our Play's the Thing

is a Creative Aging program which offers older adults age 60 and up the opportunity to create an original 30 to 40 minute play. The inspiration for the play will be a physical object such as flowers, keys, or shoes. The group will investigate their associations to the object through activities like storytelling, improvisation and reflection to create scenes which incorporate the object as a thematic motif. No prior theater experience is needed to participate. The project will culminate in a public performance.

The program will support older adults to:

  • increase their social engagement
  • acquire a sense of mastery of theater through sequential arts activities
  • promote both physical and mental health
  • stimulate enhanced memory by using a physical object as a tactile entry point.
  • develop their critical thinking skills as they reflect on their work-in-progress.

Our Play's the Thing at Young Israel of Forest Hills Senior League

Young Israel of Forest Hills Senior League was host to Our Play's the Thing in August of 2012. The program was offered in a concentrated two week format. Participants met with teaching artists Kevin Ray and Sherry Teitelbaum every day of the two weeks for two hours at a time. The end result was the creation and performance of The Shoe Show.

Who was involved?

This project was an exciting collaboration between many people and organizations:
  • Adults over the age of 60 living in Forest Hills, Queens will create and perform an original play
  • 2 theater artists, Kevin Ray, and Sherry Teitelbaum, will develop and facilitate the theater workshops with seniors
  • Young Israel of Forest Hills Senior League will provide administrative and operational support
  • Everybody Act! Theater in Education & Communities will provide administrative and artistic support
  • NYC community members, members of the senior center, and friends will attend the final event which is open to the public.
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Our final product!
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Playing a Getting To Know You Game
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Kevin and Sherry Modeling an Activity
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Find Your Pinky Partner!
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Tableau Time!
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Experimenting with Frozen Images and Objects: Back Scratcher, Rat, and Whisk
This program was made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Individual Supporters

Thank You!

We couldn't have done this project without the support of these individuals who generously contributed to Our Play's the Thing. To see their names, click the tab above that says "View the Names."
Enter the name for this tabbed section: View the Names
Lee Crespi
Carrie Ellman-Larsen
Marsha Gildin
Carol Glassman
Sidonia Gluck
Ana Holcman
Jennifer Houseal
Fern Kershon
Leslie Kramer
Judy Levitz
Catherine Maiorisi
Joan Maiorisi
Suzu McConnell-Wood
Judy Mostowitz
Sharon Pfeffer
Isaac and Susan Rabinowicz
Jean Raff
Gaetano Ravallo
Judy Rosenblatt
David Schneier

Ben and Sophie Teitelbaum
Janine Trevens
Marvin and Marsha Tyson
Lucy Winner

About Creative Aging

Creative Aging approaches aging in a new way. Rather than viewing the older years as a time of steady decline and deterioration, the new paradigm of creative aging reveals these years to be a time of discovery, integration, and growth. Older adults who engage in lifelong learning in a social setting have been shown to experience a powerful sense of mastery through acquiring new skills. This sense contributes to wellness by decreasing depression and slowing cognitive decline. Gene Cohen’s landmark study, The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults, found that when older adults enrolled in participatory arts programs at three different geographical sites were compared to a control group, they reported “(A) better health, fewer doctor visits, and less medication usage; (B) more positive responses on the mental health measures; (C) more involvement in overall activities.”