A company of 50-plus actors were at a Toronto Community Housing building in Parkdale to stage a series of short plays aimed at raising awareness about elder abuse.
Act2Studio Works, a theatre program out of the Chang School for Continuing Education’s Programs for 50 Plus at Ryerson University, staged their latest production of plays before an audience of seniors at the May Robinson Apartments Nov. 21. The series of seven short plays look at the different forms of elder abuse, including emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse as well as isolation and neglect.
“Toronto Community Housing had been interested in developing a show on elder abuse and they contacted us because Act2Studio has a history of doing shows about social issues,” said Elaine Vayda, a member of Act2Studio Works.
The plays were written by Vrenia Ivanoffski, artistic director and founder of Act2Studio Works, in collaboration with the actors based on discussions they had with Toronto Community Housing and concerns they had.
“The plays were designed to generate awareness of the problems and help to stimulate discussion afterwards on different ways to react to it, how to get help and where to look for help,” said actor Neil Naft. “By partnering with Toronto Community Housing and the professionals involved with it, we can get people thinking about elder abuse.”
Act2Studio Works has performed the series of plays for Toronto Community Housing residents across the city nearly a dozen times in the past.
“The feedback we get from people at the end of it is just so affirming,” said Judi Healy, a member of Act2Studio. “Nothing brings an issue to life more than seeing it played out on stage and it gives people an opportunity to comment on it.”