GeriActors Theatre is an internationally known and Edmonton based not-for-profit company creating and promoting seniors’ and intergenerational theatre. Founded in 2001 by Artistic Director, David Barnet, we are supported by the SAGE Seniors Association and the University of Alberta Department of Drama.
Adhering to the principles of Creative Aging, we believe that seniors’ engagement in the arts at a level of comparative mastery leads to significant health benefits, an overall sense of well-being and a marked increase in social and civic engagement. Working intergenerationally, seniors have more creative energy and greater opportunities for expression. The stories they tell and the theatre they create are entertaining, but also challenge stereotypes, strengthen memory, develop skills associated with performance, and articulate issues of aging. We seek to establish and work with communities that cross ethnic, cultural, economic, age and other social boundaries.
Our mission is to engage seniors and intergenerational groups in which seniors are included in theatre and performance-related activities, and produce theatre of meaning for our performers and audiences.
“We have found that play-acting brings out the inner self; it makes life easier in some way.”
David Barnet, the founding artistic director of GeriActors, is a professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Alberta, where he specializes in community-based and ensemble theatre, and acting Shakespeare. He is the founding artistic director of Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, and has extensive experience in Popular Theatre and Theatre for Development in Africa and Asia. He is a 3M National Teaching Fellow.
In developing GeriActors and the practice of intergenerational theatre and creative aging, David Barnet has been influenced by the work of Stuart Kendall and Stagebridge in Oakland, California; Arthur Strimling and Roots and Branches in New York; ESTA (Elders Share the Arts) in New York; Susan Pearlstein (founder of the National Centre for Creative Aging) in Washington, DC; and Pam Schweitzer, the founder of Age Exchange in London, UK.[Esc key to close]
Becca Barrington has been with GeriActors & Friends since 2010 as a student and a Friend. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Alberta, she was lucky enough to land a job with GeriActors as their Administrator in 2012. In 2014, she became the Associate Director. Becca has also worked with Theatre Alberta, Chrysalis, the Edmonton Epilepsy Association, Bring It Up Theatre, and Catasterismi Theatre Company.[Esc key to close]
Jozel has been involved in theatre since junior high school; directing, acting, producing, co-writing and stage managing various productions with independent theatre companies in Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the U of A, where she first became a “friend” of the GeriActors in 2007. Other companies she has worked with include Tripod Productions, Villains’ Theatre, Lions Den Theatre, Nextfest and L’Unitheatre. She has facilitated drama workshops in elementary schools throughout Alberta and BC. Jozel currently works with GeriActors & Friends and Rising Sun Theatre company. This summer, Jozel will be performing at the Edmonton Fringe with Whyte Sugar Rush Theatre’s production of The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.[Esc key to close]
Board of Directors
Director: David Barnet
Treasurer: Jane Heather
Secretary: Bill Yong