Bringing joy to elderly, one act at a time
EIGHT actors and a sound technician are bringing immense joy to aged care residents in Hervey Bay, one act at time.
Z-Pac Theatre's latest production of Snapshots from Home has been taken from the Zephyr St stage and into local retirement villages to reach people who, for various reasons, aren't able to experience the joy of live theatre.
President Liane Mills said 12 performances of the hour-long show, directed by Jonathan Dunn, had already been booked around the region.
Ms Mills said the show was perfect for their target audience as it told short stories about life in Brisbane during World War II.
"It's very fast paced, it will go from a scene when they find out the war is about to start, then to when the American soldiers are coming in and the Aussies didn't like it, to another scene where there's a bomb going off, to another where the diggers are coming home," Ms Mills said.
"The four actors are playing more than 20 roles each but you don't get confused because each little scene is separate.
"There's four actors for each performance and eight all together (who perform alternatively)."
The most memorable and emotional moments of the performance, Ms Mills said, often came after the show when the floor was opened up to residents to share their wartime memories.
"At first nobody says anything at all but then I share some of my memories and suddenly the flood gates open," Ms Mills said.
"They share stories like 'I remember running through the streets and spilling by basket of eggs in England during the war and the air raid siren came on' or 'I remember waving off my uncle when I was six and never saw him again'.
"I think a lot of this is what makes the play so special ... it's not just entertaining, it's giving these people a time to remember the past."
With a predominately senior audience at Z-Pac, Ms Mills and her fellow volunteer actors felt it was important to give back.
"It just warms your heart to be able to do these things for these beautiful senior people who for many years have contributed so much to society and now they can't anymore.
"They are still valuable and still deserve to have opportunities like seeing live theatre."
The show will be running for until July, 2020.
Ms Mills would love to hear from any other aged care services that are keen to see the show. There is a small fee charged to the venue to cover the cost of royalties. Phone 0418 712 636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.