It’s not every day that a dream becomes a reality but every once in awhile the stars fall into alignment and magic happens.
I think this just may be the case regarding Humboldt Light Opera Company’s new Boomer+ Troupe, a performing arts ensemble for those of us over fifty.
Theatrical programs for older Americans are popping up all over the country. From coast to coast, people are coming together to learn, to share in the joy of a collaborative project, and most of all, to entertain. They are mastering new skills, enjoying positive experiences and having a blast. What a combo!
I’ve been mulling around this idea for the last couple of years. But it also caught the attention of Humboldt Light Opera Company. That’s no surprise because HLOC has always encouraged people of all ages to participate in their classes and productions. (Just last summer, in HLOC’s production of Mary Poppins, our cast was between four and seventy-eight years of age.)
HLOC, who offers a strong educational program for children, has long recognized the many benefits of theatrical experiences for older people as well. Performing helps keep us mentally sharp and challenged. It fosters creativity and utilizes problem solving skills. Participating in a production gives us a purpose, a sense of contribution, and can enlarge and strengthen our social circles.
So, when HLOC’s Artistic Director, Carol Ryder and I put our heads together last spring, we recognized the value of creating a Boomer+ Troupe. We had great fun exploring the many directions such a troupe could take.
Given the vast experience of HLOC and knowing how music energizes the brain, not to mention the soul, it was obvious that music would play a large part in the new Boomer+ Troupe. But we also recognized that our community is full of talented people who, though they don’t consider themselves singers, have great stories to tell. With that, the first Boomer+ Troupe production began to take form.
Next February, HLOC’s new Boomer+ Troupe will make its debut with Those Fascinating Fifties! Through captivating oral histories and theme related songs the Boomer+ Troupe cast will combine their skills and talents to create an engaging and entertaining variety show about this intriguing decade. It promises to be a rollicking good time! (Additional performances for schools and senior living facilities are also being explored.)
Even better? This production will be a joint benefit for HLOC’s Sunny Brae Performing Arts Center for Education (The S.P.A.C.E.) and OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, http://www2.humboldt.edu/olli).
We held auditions for the show this week. Over thirty talented people showed up to shared their many talents! The process took awhile as we chatted with each person, curious to understand their memories but everyone was upbeat and excited about the project.
I am so enthused about what we will all be creating together. It’s going to be great – I just feel it!