Time of Your Life Players is a troupe of actors ranging in age from 55 years to the 70s, who create and perform original musical comedies in order to present a senior perspective and utilize diverse talents.
The original members first joined together in November 2004. We had all known each other from 15 to 35 years, through various theater and life activities. We began our organization because we felt there was a need to provide live, musical theater to senior citizens, both within assisted living facilities and at various venues that include senior citizen programming. In addition to providing entertainment, we also want to involve seniors in theater arts through various workshops that we lead. We hope by our example to inspire other seniors to express themselves creatively through theater arts, as well as offer them an opportunity to connect with others in a playful and supportive way. We were incorporated in the State of Illinois as a general not-for-profit corporation on June 30, 2005. On July 31, 2007, the IRS deemed this organization a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Our first three shows, “Now and Then,” “Bud’s Café, Meat Loaf and Jimmy Dean,” and “A Step Too Far,” were situated in Bud’s Café and revolved around events in the lives of a group of seniors who regularly met for coffee. Our fourth show, “Bud’s Café,” an amalgam of shows two and three reworked into a full-length musical comedy, was performed at the Bailiwick Arts Center Studio Theater in the fall of 2007. In Fall 2008 we performed “Stella’s Unisex” at Bailiwick, and our Fall 2009 production, “The Dreamers,” was at the Apollo Theatre Studio and Theatre Building Chicago. You can read a review of our 2010 show, “What’s To Fear?”, which we performed at the Greenhouse Theater Center. In Fall 2011 we performed a new, original one-act musical comedy called “Let’s Have Fun With This” at Stage 773, in Fall and Spring 2012-13,we performed “Rock ‘n’ Roll AD.” In August 2013, we were invited to perform “Rock ‘n’ Roll AD” in Meridian, Mississippi at the 12th. Annual Southeastern Conference on Aging and Denentia. In Fall 2013 we performed “At the Hip Hop.” We are now preparing our Fall 2014 show “Bud’s Cafe Redux.”
We have also performed our shows at retirement communities, senior living facilities, public libraries, community centers, religious institutions and community festivals, conferences before senior and intergenerational audiences.
In accordance with our history and mission, our current goals are:
- To continue community outreach to an ever larger number of seniors, in order to entertain them and encourage participation in the arts as a form of expression and socialization;
- To attract new talent to Time of Your Life Players, for work both onstage and behind the scenes;
- To increase membership in our Board of Directors to aid in the support and development of our group.
Our objectives for the next period are:
- To cast, rehearse and perform our new show;
- To conduct workshops in writing, performance development, music, improvisation and comedy with seniors;
- To create a new original musical comedy show every year;
- To improve our website to increase communication and provide information;
- To publicize our existence and mission in various ways, including playbills, notices in publications and online.