Not just a day, not just a show

June 15, 2024

By Guangke Dai, Communications Officer              (story behind the scenes)

Following its successful premiere in March, MOSAIC’s Seniors Club brings back their original musical, “Seniors Take on Things We Never Talk About,” for six performances in June by popular demand. As the curiosity-provoking title suggests, you might wonder what to expect. The musical delves into taboo and overlooked subjects from the perspective of seniors, a demographic whose voices are often underrepresented in discussions of social issues.

So what are these “things”? Why we never talk about them? And most importantly, who are “we” and what can “we” do? As we approach World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, we invite you to learn more about the story behind the scenes of this remarkable production.

The driving force

Behind this ambitious project is Andrea Montgomery Di Marco, the writer and director of this musical, leader for the seniors’ program, and a dedicated volunteer with MOSAIC for many years. Andrea holds a PhD in anthropology with a specialty in refugee immigration and has a rich background in music. Through poignant songs and compelling storytelling, “Seniors Take on Things We Never Talk About” not only entertains but also brings to light sensitive topics such as elder abuse, age-related stereotypes, and the influence of gender roles on seniors.

“The musical is the work of my heart,” Andrea shared. “I hope that the audience experiences a pause, long enough to not only be touched by the performance but also to integrate what they heard, saw, and experienced.”

A collaborative creation

The journey of creating this musical has been extraordinary. Under Andrea’s guidance, each participant had the opportunity to create their own character, infusing their personal stories, challenges, and triumphs into the narrative. This collaborative process gave the seniors a sense of ownership and connection to their roles, resulting in a powerful and authentic performance.

The project began with themed dialogue and expressive art workshops. These workshops, held over several months, provided a safe space for participants to express their emotions, share their experiences, and connect with one another. The rehearsals, which started in September 2023, were filled with laughter, encouragement, and mutual support. The seniors worked tirelessly to perfect their lines, songs, and movements, overcoming language barriers and building confidence along the way.

Transformative impact

For many of the seniors, participating in this project has been a transformative experience. They have grown in confidence, developed new skills, and formed lasting friendships. The musical has also challenged stereotypes about aging and showcased the incredible talents and resilience of immigrant seniors.

“One of the seniors called her daughter in Shanghai after the performance and shared that she sang solo on stage in English. Her daughter was in disbelief and proud beyond words,” Andrea recounts a particularly moving moment.

A vision for change

Andrea emphasizes, “We need a spotlight on this constantly. This needs to be our next discussion. By not centering these experiences and wisdom, we miss out on incredible life journeys.”

This initiative aims to change the negative attitudes surrounding aging and to bring elder abuse out of the shadows. By amplifying the voices of seniors and addressing these critical issues through the arts, MOSAIC hopes to create a society where seniors are valued, respected, and supported, and where their contributions and wisdom are recognized and celebrated.

Join Us

This musical is not just about one day or one show; it’s about starting a continuous conversation on aging and the experiences of seniors. As the musical aims to spark meaningful discussions and foster a deeper understanding of immigrant seniors, it is crucial to keep these topics in the spotlight.

We encourage you to be a part of this movement. Attend the performances, engage in discussions, and help us spread the word. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of seniors and work towards a future where elder abuse is no longer a hidden issue, but a topic of ongoing conversation and action.                     (taboo topics)

For performance dates and ticket information, please visit here and make sure you reserve your free tickets. We hope to see you in the theatre.