Editor’s Note: We are honoured to have Maggie as GeriActors and Friend’s Administrative Assistant. Here are a couple thoughts by Maggie Salopek.
I first heard about the GeriActors while I was studying drama at the University of Alberta. I was informed there was a class about intergenerational theatre that allowed you to work with the GeriActors for a semester and I thought that would be a really cool experience. Unfortunately I was unable to take the class, but I was still interested in the work that the GeriActors did and I wanted to be a part of it. So I started to volunteer! I’ve been volunteering and working with the GeriActors since September 2016 and I love every minute of it.
I’ve met a lot of fun people through the GeriActors and I’ve discovered so much about their lives. Every day, I learn something new from them and I try to apply the lessons they’ve learnt to my own life and understand their experiences. The GeriActors have taught me a lot about seniors’ issues in Edmonton and how the theatre they create can educate our city on those issues. Their current goal is to make Edmonton an Age Friendly City. We are making theatre that reflects that by having the GeriActors talk about their own stories and then we integrate them into our plays.
The intergenerational art we create at the GeriActors speaks to everyone and allows us to connect on new levels with the seniors and young people in our lives. Enhancing the communication between the older and younger generations can help us make Edmonton an Age Friendly City and abolish the stereotypes we have about seniors and young people.
For the future, I see intergenerational art becoming more popular in our city, not just for the GeriActors but for other theatre groups and other art forms as well. As the GeriActors continue to create art that brings important issues to the spotlight, I’m sure others will follow and help bridge the gap between the younger generation and seniors.
The GeriActors have inspired me to use theatre to shed light on overlooked problems in our world and to continue educating myself on the perspectives of others. I’m grateful for all they have taught me and I can’t wait to see what else I will learn form them and what art we will make together in the future!