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Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 03/27/2015

Theater Unites Generations

Theater Unites Generations

The newly formed Sykesville Little Theatre held its maiden production to four sold-out performances in September at the Neiswender Theater, which is on the campus of Fairhaven, a continuing care retirement community in Sykesville, Md. Actors in the production came from as far as the Washington, D.C. area to participate. Those attending one of the four performances included not only residents of Fairhaven, but also residents of Sykesville and the surrounding communities. “We are thrilled that people came from as far as the Eastern Shore to attend,” exclaims Barbara Bennett, the box-office director.

“We are excited to finally see all of our hard work and efforts come to fruition,” says David J. Pagano, founder of the Sykesville Little Theatre group and director of its first production. “It is a way for people of all ages who love the theater to come together and create something really outstanding. Community theater is truly a wonderful thing.”

The Sykesville Little Theatre group identified a need for local performances and productions that both embraced and included the greater community, the residents and staff of Fairhaven, and the staff of EMA. The mission of the newly formed theatre group is to have two to three productions a year, with one or more of the cast members over the age of 65. The plays will primarily be adult modern dramas or comedies. The group will not be performing children’s theater or children’s musicals.

“It is such a wonderful way to showcase the talents and skills of older adults,” adds Shirley Cammack, assistant director and Fairhaven resident. “I am so impressed at how we have attracted older adults with not only theatrical experience but also others who have such great enthusiasm to contribute to all aspects of the work it takes to pull this off. We have volunteers who have painted the sets, pulled together the costumes and props and even researched the details of the plot’s era so that we are as accurate as possible.”

“It has really sparked an interest, and we are seeing support not only with volunteers but we have also received monetary gifts to help fund equipment needs such as lighting, sound, etc.,” says Pagano. “It is really awe-inspiring how generous and supportive people have been.”

The first production was “The Trip to Bountiful” by Horton Foote, a story of an aging widow living with her son and daughter-in-law in Houston, Texas. The first curtain went up on September 12th, and the play was a smashing success, with all shows sold out.

Information on future productions or becoming a member of the SLT can be found at www.sykesvilletheater.org or by calling 410-970-2036.

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