“What’s To Fear?” – A Comedic Play about Aging

Chicago’s Very Own Theater Troupe Featuring Older Persons

Time of Your Life Players is a troupe of actors, ranging in age from 55 through the 70s, who create and perform original comedies. The troupe began with the idea of utilizing diverse talents to create theater from a senior point of view. Hence, our mission is to educate and entertain from a senior perspective. During our first three years we traveled to senior living facilities, senior centers, and public libraries to perform our shows. In 2007 we began to perform in theaters.

Musicians from the Old Town School of Folk Music Join the Theater Troupe

In January 2009, I went to a panel discussion at the Chicago Cultural Center about senior theater. Bau Graves, the executive director of the Old Town School of Folk Music, participated on the panel. The next day, I telephoned to request his help finding older adult musicians  to participate in our show. Within a short period of time, three musicians from the Old Town School of Folk Music inquired about joining the troupe: Bill Lange, Steve Bishop and Jim Regan. Bill, Steve and Jim joined the troupe, which in turn led to more musicians joining us, all from the Old Town School.

“What’s to Fear?” – The Newest Act from Time of Your Life Players

The musicians mentioned above appeared in the 2009 show “The Dreamers” and are currently in this year’s show, “What’s to Fear?” along with Larry Hazard, Mary Gault, Ken Stefancich, Mike Lieber, Dave O’ Donnell, Amy Bass, Ed Uptain, and our new musical director Julie Nichols. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my wife Lauren, who wrote many of the songs’ lyrics. I have been very lucky to find such a talented and hard-working company to collaborate with me in creating this play.

The idea for this year’s play resulted from my seeing “Next to Normal,” a musical in New York about a woman with bipolar disorder. I was so impressed by the creativity of the show, that I wanted to see if I could create a musical on a similarly serious subject. I settled on the topic of prostate cancer, as I had experienced this myself.

The play’s message is that health issues can arise at any time in our lives, and it is up to us how we choose to deal with them. The subtext is that if we pursue life to the fullest each day, then “What’s to Fear?” The play also shows how the support of family and friends can help us in a time of need.  While there is a good deal of humor in the play, we acknowledge the seriousness of prostate cancer, but choose to demonstrate that one can also look at it and laugh.

After each show, there is a post-show discussion mediated by a professional in the field of aging.  The post-show discussion  gives the audience members an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings about what they have just experienced and how the play affected them.  We ask the moderators who lead the discussion to highlight the issues brought forth in the play as they impact seniors.

There are still a few remaining shows of “What’s to Fear?” playing at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, Chicago, Il 60614.  Tickets are $15 a piece, or group rates for $10 a ticket. The remaining dates and times are:

  • Wednesdays: 2:00 pm, Oct. 27, Nov. 3
  • Fridays:  2:00 pm, Oct. 29, Nov.5
  • Saturdays:  2:00 pm, Oct. 30, Nov.6

To learn more about Time of Your Life Players, visit our website, www.timeofyourlifeplayers.com, or contact me, Avrum Krause, at 773-248-5249, or at akrause@rcn.com.

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