THIRD ACT PLAYERS
OHTC's The Third Act Players, Wilmington’s first theatre program for performers ages 50 and older
In August 2019, Opera House Theatre Company launched Wilmington’s first theatre program for performers ages 50 and older. Third Act Players, made their debut, to a packed house, Sunday October 20, 2019 on the main stage of Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, with “Showstoppers!” an original variety show, featuring solos, duet/trios and group numbers. The productions to follow will be popular Broadway adaptations of musicals specifically created and tailored for older individuals. “This program will promote healthy living and thinking” says Smith.
“The joy of performing and creating theatre doesn’t stop at a certain age” says Ray Kennedy, who is a producer for Opera House and long standing director for the company. “People want adventure and with this new theatre program, actors can audition for all roles and not be limited to age specific roles, like Great Aunt or Grandfather”
For producer/ choreographer Tina Leak, the inspiration came while instructing and watching numerous Walk-On Role winners, during the season. “We had eleven Walk-On winners in “Mamma Mia” & “42nd Street” that were over age fifty & after the show, they glowed while posing for photos, receiving flowers and praise from their peers, children and grandchildren”.
Executive Artistic Director, Justin Smith says, “The new program isn’t about increasing OHTC revenue, it’s about improving lives”. Specifically for a rapidly growing population who are often overlooked and underestimated in their desire and ability to engage and challenge themselves.
There were over thirty performers in “Showstoppers!” ranging in age from early fifties too late early eighties. As part of OHTC’s Apprentice Program, ten or more youth worked backstage and in the lobby. “Connecting these groups strengthen our community and encourage positive exchanges, teaching the importance of embracing diversity and supporting all people, regardless of age, race or sexual identity”
If you are interested in more information about this troupe or how you can be involved, please contact us. We would love to hear from you!