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Senior Theater Experience coming to Bonifas

ESCANABA — Whether you’ve been dreaming of the limelight, are an amateur thespian, or simply a theater lover, this winter and spring the Bonifas Arts Center is teaming up with Players de Noc to invite residents to experience the world on the other side of the stage.

In February, the Bonifas is launching “Behind the Curtain, a Senior Theater Experience” geared toward active seniors — a three – month immersion in the world of theater. Twice a month, participants can take part in a senior readers theater, sit in on a rehearsal, get a theater tour from a director, visit backstage to engage with the technical aspects of production (sets and costumes), watch a play, and meet the stars of the show.

The program is geared to individuals with various levels of interest and various comfort zones, and there is no previous theater experience necessary. Seniors must be able to navigate stairs to get the full benefit of the program.

The Senior Theater Experience program was inspired by a similar program in Marquette.

“The Bonifas Arts Center and Players de Noc express their sincere gratitude to the City of Marquette, specifically to Ms. Moire Embley, City of Marquette’s Senior Theater Experience Instructor,” Bonifas Education Coordinator Irina Bruno noted. “Ms. Embley, who has developed the Senior Theater Experience Program in Marquette, has generously shared the ideas and general framework for the program that has ran successfully in Marquette for over three years with the funding provided by the City of Marquette.”

Led by veteran actresses Lynn Soderberg and Sara LaMarch, it starts with an opening session on Feb. 10, includes a rehearsal experience on Feb. 27, followed by the performance of “Mamma Mia!” on March 12, in which participants attend the performance and meet the actors. There is also an opportunity to watch and/or participate in auditions for “The Cemetery Club” on March 15 or 16, and concludes with reader’s theater rehearsals and performance on April 16 and 30.

To sign up for “Behind the Curtain, a Senior Theater Experience”, which starts on Monday, Feb. 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., call the Bonifas at (906) 786-3833 or visit www.bonifasarts.org. The fee for the six-week program is $60, with a ticket to “Mamma Mia!” included.

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