The Surprising Health Benefits of Acting for Older Adults
The theatah, the theatah. Who hasn’t belted out “Defying Gravity,” ala Wicked’s Idina Menzel in the shower, or practiced a little “To be or not to be?” in front of the mirror? Lest you think your dreams of center stage are way past their expiration date, thou dost need to think again.
Whether you are an extrovert who loves the limelight or would sooner bungee jump off a bridge than get up and recite a soliloquy, senior theater could be your next adventure.
The older we get, the more we can derive the benefits of acting. It’s not about trying to become Hugh Jackman. It’s about connecting with others while creatively expressing yourself. Before you start listing all the reasons you should not become involved in a senior theater program, check out a few health benefits that may help you seek the spotlight.
Join the Group
One of the biggest risks to a senior’s mental and emotional health is isolation. It is imperative to interact with others to stave off depression and keep the mind sharp. Becoming part of a theater troupe is a great way to develop a sense of belonging and purpose. You will be contributing to the creation of something larger than yourself while being an integral part of a team of players.
Improve your Communication Skills
Engaging with other students and working to bring characters to life will help you develop stronger listening skills and create an opportunity to share points of view. Close collaboration will give you a more empathetic approach to absorbing the opinions of others and help you to more effectively express your own.
The more you practice in a safe, non-judgmental space, surrounded by supportive peers, the less fear and inhibition will get in your way. You will gain confidence that will spill over into other facets of your life.
Keep Your Brain Active
Crossword puzzles may be great. But studying lines that must be memorized and delivered is an even better exercise for your brain. Nothing improves the memory like memorizing!
Set Your Emotions Free
This chapter of life may come with a variety of challenges—like mobility issues, death of a spouse, or children leaving town. Acting can be a huge stress reliever as you unleash your emotions and get in touch with your true feelings. Creative movement and vocal exercises can release tension and make the world look a little brighter.
Best of all, senior theater is fun. You’ll have plenty of laughs as your group mounts their production. And don’t forget the Happy Hour afterward!
Connect with new friends and find your inner Broadway star. It’s never too late for your close-up. If you were an Overture resident, you would have access to art classes and activities, including Drama Club at some locations. It’s just one of the ways Overture invests in the holistic health of its residents!