A theatrical project to consider …

Entertaining residents at a nursing home

We want to share theatre, right?  That’s part of community theatre.
So here’s a chance to do that.

Phil Matusiewisc — a man who has a long record of public service, and incidentally has been the superb photographer for our Community Theatre Festival — is now acting as the Administrator of the Atlantic Baptist Home.  He has put a request to us:
Could our theatrical community devise activities with which to visit the nursing home — particularly the ‘secure’ units where residents are mostly living with varying degrees of dementia.

• Such visits might be single-occasion, or on-going, with some degree of regularity (e.g. monthly, every second week).  It would be during the daytime, I gather.
• Preliminary examples:
- dramatic reading of short stories and poems
- short play reading
- game-like theatrical exercises (e.g. changing facial expressions, motions to show emotions)
- simple action songs
- acting out some scenes
- doing a short rehearsal of a play you’re preparing

The nurse in charge of coordinating resident care tells us that persons with dementia — at least many of them, most of the time — will be able to appreciate such activities, even if it’s only liking the rhythm of a poem, or having a good memory associated with a song, or getting a kick out of movement.  I suppose we would learn through trial and error what works best.

Have you got some ideas?  Think you might want to give it a try to see how it goes?
Send me a note or give me a call to talk about this.
Rob Thomson -  robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca, 902-628-6778

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