Canada’s First Seniors’ Improvisational Travelling Theatre
Sage Age Theatre, Canada’s first seniors’ improvisational theatre group, was formed in 1992 under the auspices of the then Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Council on Aging.
The original intent was simply to get seniors out of their homes and active. At the time, there were programs for teens that had them getting together to discuss their problems and relationships — all in order to help them better cope and develop personal skills along to becoming mature, self-confident adults. Why not have a similar program for seniors — as a means to helping them with skills and ideas for coping with the challenges of aging.
Gord Gihuly, a high school drama teacher in Perth, was on sabbatical at the time and was recruited to coach the program. Six months later a group of about a dozen senior women had developed a series of droll, witty and waggish skits dealing with the experiences of seniors. The decision was made to perform before audiences. Sage Age Theatre was born.
Over the years some 60 people have been members of the group. Sage Age has delivered over 400 performances before over 20,000 youth, seniors, university students, retirement home residents and even a group of retired nuns.
Sage Age Theatre performs primarily in the Ottawa Valley and in communities along the upper St. Lawrence. In June 2010 our travelling troupe went to Halifax to conduct eight performances in just five days.
Sage Age Theatre has inspired the formation of the Sage Age Players in Peterborough and perhaps others. We look forward to another 20 years of inspiring our audiences through laughter and humour to reflect on the glories and challenges of senior living in Canada.