I am a retired Drama Teacher who enjoys community drama, painting watercolours and Celtic art. I have enjoyed volunteering all my life, and will continue in my retirement years. Currently, I write and direct for K-W Silver Stars and direct Harmony Interactive Theatre – a group that helps the Elder Abuse Response Team with their Educational Mandate. In the wee hours, I have produced a young adult series of books: The Winklers. To date there are five unpublished ms. that I am cross-editing. In the summer of 2015 I’m working on the sixth book. This Blog is a place where I can share some of my shorter creative efforts.
Teachers retire. Then, they have to do something else. In my case, I’ve been lucky. I found a seniors’ drama group to work with. So, I write, design and direct for this group and with any luck stay below the radar of the ‘arts’ critics in my community. When you do drama for the love of it, not to achieve some imaginary standard of excellence, but just to enjoy the company of other people who also love to do this work, you don’t need critics getting in the way. Way down at the bottom of the amateur level, it’s OK to make mistakes, OK to forget a line, to flub the notes in a song. It’s OK to just be yourself in the show. At this part of the scene, we can all relax and truly enjoy our participation in the arts – well into our senior years.
After retirement, I did a small performance project with teens at the local Arts Center. But soon enough, writing short stories took over. More on that later. And I then found myself volunteering with various committees at City Hall. This led to a huge learning curve about municipal politics. Getting along with folks inside the bubble of a school community is one thing. Learning to work with a variety of people in the political arena – all with different goals and agendas – is another. I learned a lot and am hopefully wiser for the experience. There are wonderful people working in municipal government. They do not deserve all the criticism that comes their way. After over 10 years of city committees, I find myself back in the Arts again. Working with seniors in drama is very different. Seniors have their own minds. They require a different kind of leadership to bring out the best in them on stage. So, now, that is the challenge – to write for seniors and hopefully bring entertainment to them that has echoes of the best years they lived through. Certainly, the music of their formative years is among the best ever written.