Alpha Omega Playback Theatre Company has been working together for six years, we have performed for all sorts of people including charities and stage performances, yet we always come back to the lovely members of our rest home community,
This got me thinking, why do my team enjoy this experience so much especially when it is fraught with it’s fair share of “Look at what you did”, “There are so many of them” “Its a miracle what you’ve achieved”.
Aaaaaaay?! Not even mate, I might facilitate this group and conduct the stories but all the actors and musicians make all their own choices and perform back what they hear and feel in the moment. They are the masters of their decisions.
Let’s think about this for a minute though , what is more empowering than being yourself and performing back the stories to the audience who may have never seen so many people with disabilities together in one group? Mah, ha, ha, mass crowd domination.
There are sixteen of them. I am sure it is confronting, yet comforting for my people as they stand in front of their audience saying hello, I am like you and you are like me.
Age has a way of defying prejudices of the past and letting commonality be found in the present.
The first thing one of the residents said when we opened our show was “Thank you for being here, it lifts my energy and well-being having you here and I am so grateful for all of the colour, creativity and expression”.
It is so nice to be welcomed with open arms.
Sometimes I notice the fragility in our audience along with the vulnerability of the performers. The perfect combination of being in the moment.
On reflection, it is slightly addictive these experiences together. To sit, chat, sing, move and be together. Heartened by the stories shared. Learning how to see ourselves and others in new light. In a rest home we are safe from the outside views of the world. Creating the environment that we want to share together.
We have found a home with our audience and as we go back to perform, play and connect we build new understandings and resilience as a group.
We rehearse on Fridays at Thistle Hall. If you would like to visit email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
We love to make new friends and hear new stories. You are welcome to join us for a session.