As seniors age, they are often faced with mental and physical challenges which make it difficult to continue normal activities like going to the theatre. Many become isolated, withdraw from social activity and experience a diminished quality of life. Music therapy has been proven to help some seniors fight depression, improve memory and restore and maintain their health.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Elinor and T.W. Miller, Jr. Foundation, The Winter Park Playhouse launched SHARE in December 2016. The goal of SHARE is to enhance the quality of life and positively impact the mental and physical health of senior adults by bringing professional musical theatre experiences directly into day care and full-service life care facilities.
The Winter Park Playhouse provided quarterly musical cabaret performances at seven Winter Park resident and day care facilities including Easter Seals DayBreak @ the Miller Center, Gardens at DePugh Nursing Home, Calvary Towers, Plymouth Apartments, Summer Time Retirement Home, The Mayflower Retirement Community, and Westminster Winter Park. In addition, performances were offered for Winter Park seniors at the Winter Park Community Center.
SHARE cabarets were largely comprised of well-known music of yester-year to most effectively connect with the seniors, stimulate positive memories and improve mental and physical health. It was incredibly rewarding to see the moods and energy of the participants elevated during the performances. It was evident that the musical performances brought them great joy and allowed them to escape their troubles for an hour.