SHERIDAN — Since 2009, actors with the Senior Theater Players have been entertaining audiences at the Sheridan Senior Center with a variety of plays and performances.
The group has performed one-act plays, a radio play, a staged reading and even an original work written by one of the members.
“The first group we had, there were maybe five or six people and it has been pretty consistent between five and eight since then,” said Erin Butler, who has served as volunteer director of the group since it started. “It is just a fun part of my week. We are there to have fun and learn and enjoy each other’s company and put on a good show.”
One of the longest serving actors in the group is Pam Stevenson who has been with the group since its first performance.
“I was in a very small part in a play in high school when I was a junior and had a lead role when I was a senior, but that was it,” Stevenson said about why she joined. “I enjoyed it so much when I was in high school and never had an opportunity to do it again until now. There is a lot of camaraderie within the group and we just have a lot of fun. We do a lot of joking, a lot of laughing and helping each other out.”
The group practices once a week on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. at the Sheridan Senior Center. All performances are also held at the center in the dining hall and usually two performances per year are held.
Butler said the group is always open to new participants. She said some members have previous acting experience and others are giving it a try for the first time.
“It’s funny because people are interested and they think it sounds fun but there is a lot of fear of being on stage or having to memorize lines and all those things that comes with it,” she said. “The biggest concern I hear form people is ‘There is no way I could remember all that!’ But you don’t have to. Some of them memorize their lines, but some have cue cards on stage with them and it is fine. We don’t want to scare anyone away.”
Stevenson agreed that memorization was a challenge in the beginning, but has gotten a bit easier with time.
“You know, the older you get, the harder it is,” she said. “A lot of it depends on what role you are in. For me, the little bit longer parts you have to remember are easier than a whole bunch of little ones here and there.”
The group recently completed its mid-summer performance of “The Creepy Corpse of Cal Capone” and will soon begin preparing for a Christmas-time production. New members are welcome to join at any time.
“The focus of the group is to have fun, to learn and just enjoy the experience and of course, put on a great show at the end,” Butler said. “It is a great group of people and I have learned a lot from them. I hope we are teaching each other. They are always so grateful, I say no way, this is my favorite part of the week. I love being here.”