GeriActors Theatre is an intergenerational theatre company based in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton). Our mission is to engage seniors, and intergenerational groups in which seniors are included, in theatre and performance-related activities, and to produce plays of meaning for our performers and audiences.
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 plays they create are entertaining, but also challenge stereotypes, strengthen memory, develop skills associated with performance, and articulate issues of aging.
“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]
Associate Director and General Manager
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 Grindstone Theatre, Theatre Alberta, Chrysalis, the Edmonton Epilepsy Association, and Bring It Up Theatre.[Esc key to close]
Stage Manager and Tour Manager
Erin is very excited to be working with GeriActors Theatre! She is a graduate of the BFA Technical Theatre; Stage Management program at the University of Alberta. She has a passion for paperwork and supporting artists any way she can. Some of her previous credits include work with: Citadel Theatre, Taste of Edmonton, Catch the Keys Productions, The Maggie Tree, and Grindstone Theatre, among others.[Esc key to close]
Board of Directors
- Director: David Barnet
- Treasurer: Charles Bidwell
- Secretary: Bill Yong
- Becca Barrington
- Salima Suleman
GeriActors would like to respectfully acknowledge that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, the traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.