Click here to watch a musical excerpt from our debut performance
Article from The Daily Tar Heel, Sept. 19,2013
No matter what your age, be prepared to be inspired by The ArtsCenter’s “The Perfect Day.”
A group of 12 senior citizens have come together to put on a show to abolish the senior stigma and to encourage their fellow seniors to get up and be active.
Susan Barry, director and playwright of “The Perfect Day,” said she wrote the play because she wanted to show that, contrary to popular belief, the senior population actually has a lot to contribute to society.
“We are really a creative, fun-loving, intelligent, experienced group of people who would like to serve in some way, and be responsible citizens,” Barry said.
Barry said the play opens with a retirement community where the residents are grumpy and out of touch with society. The conflict begins when something happens — something that will be a surprise to both the characters and the audience — that wakes them up and requires their contribution. Half of the play will be musical, with all original songs written by Barry, and half of the play will be dialogue.
“It is a very energizing show, and there’s audience participation, too, so we just want everyone to come and enjoy it with us,” Barry said.
Paul Stiller, the set designer and technical director who plays the role of technical genius Ernest, said that this play resonates with him because of its attempt to start the dialogue on the role of the senior in society.
“The whole concept of the play is to recognize and honor the concept that just because you are older than 55 years old, you do have the ability to do something useful every once in a while,” he said. “And it’s also up to you as an individual to get off your duff and do something.”
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Lyn Lamont, who plays Pearl, a woman who has Alzheimer’s, said she hopes this play will provide food for thought to anyone who comes, and she hopes it will help people turn their attitudes around about age.
“It’s easy to be negative,” she said. “It’s habit for a lot of us to go gripe, gripe, gripe, gripe, gripe, but I love it when I see people turn themselves around. It can be done. And that’s what these people do.”
Barry said she wants people to see that life is just a series of dots that need to be connected.
“Life is an incredible adventure, and it doesn’t stop when we retire and start something new,” Barry said. “It’s a continuation. Connecting those dots is a significant activity no matter what your age.”