Theatre performances performed by those 55+

Organization Associated with Program
AgeQuake Theatres
3519 Highcrest Road
Rockford, Illinois 61107

Started in 2005, AgeQuake Theatres perform original work written by cast members in both scripted and improvisational styles in a season that runs September thru May, performing one show per month for audiences averaging 30. Total older adults served, including casts of 5 - 7, is 270+.

Program History

The theatre company was developed by Dr. Joan Kole stemming from her dissertation, which focused on theatre and aging - specifically, directors' practices when working with older adults. During her studies, she was introduced to the concept of "age quake" in a seminar and thought it was the perfect title for a theatre company. Dr. Kole's doctoral program required 500 hours of an internship, so she began conducting plays at a retirement community. Some cast members from 2005 are still working with AgeQuake Theatres. Dr. Kole is also a TimeSlips facilitator, integrating that into he work.

AgeQuake Theatre's cast members also participate in two other AgeQuake programs:  TimeSlips, facilitated story telling, as well as Traditions, a copyrighted program begun by Dr. Kole that involves 3 - 4 interactive sessions in which participants "re-create holiday or special event traditions and then assist cast members in acting those traditions out.

Program Assessments and Evaluations

AgeQuake conducts individual assessment evaluations multiple times throughout the duration of the program. At the end of every performance, cast members and teaching artists identify what worked and what aspects need to be altered. Evaluations are conducted by staff. 

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Treat cast members with the dignity, honor and respect they deserve in a professional manner.

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Presenting a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in an Ensemble
Arts Discipline: Music, Theater
Target Audience: Active Adults, Frail Older Adults
Adaptive Program Design Hearing Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities
Program Setting: Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center), Assisted Living, Community Center, Healthcare - Long Term Care, Healthcare - Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), House of Worship / Religious Center
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice