New Jersey Stage

Monday, November 11, 2013

DREAMCATCHER PRESENTS HOW TO BE OLD: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE

(SUMMIT, NJ) -- Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, professional Theatre in Residence at the Oakes Center in Summit, is presenting a new adaptation of Jan Slepian's book How To Be Old: A Beginner's Guide on November 22 through 24. 


Adapted for the stage by Dreamcatcher Artistic Director Laura Ekstrand, this is the second of the author's works on aging with humor and grace. Her first, Astonishment, was presented in 2011 as a collaboration between Dreamcatcher and The Theatre Project. Slepian has had a long and celebrated career as the author of books for children and young adults. Most recently her work includes these essays, which were written for her retirement community's newsletter. It is these columns, previously collected into a book, that are receiving their debut as a theatrical presentation.

This play takes us through a step-by-step lesson on how to navigate the sometimes tricky journey through an enlightened old age. How To Be Old: A Beginner's Guide includes lighthearted ruminations on the difficulty of such ordinary routines as getting in and out of cars, mastering technology, and finding matching socks. Also explored are the heartbreak of losing a spouse and the pleasure of remembering street games and penny candy, among many other topics.

The cast features Dreamcatcher Resident Acting Company member Noreen Farley (Clinton), Daaimah Talley (Plainfield), and Terri Sturtevant (Hillsborough), accomplished actors who have appeared on many stages throughout the state. The play has been adapted and directed by Laura Ekstrand (Livingston).

Jan Slepian is the author of 28 children's books and novels for young-adult readers. Her picture book THE HUNGRY THING is now a classic; her young-adult novel THE ALFRED SUMMER was honored by a National Book Award nomination and inclusion on the School Library Journal's list of 100 books that shaped the century. She married noted mathematician David Slepian, has lived in Paris, Hawaii and New Jersey, and has three children and four grandchildren.

How To Be Old will run at Dreamcatcher on Friday, November 22 at 7 pm and on Saturday and Sunday, November 23 and 24 at 2 pm. Performances are at The Oakes Center, located at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Parking is available in the lot behind the theatre on Ashwood Avenue and at the Summit Recreation Center on Morris Avenue. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Assistive Listening devices for the hearing impaired and advance large print scripts are available by prior arrangement. To purchase tickets or for information on any of Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre's programs, please visit www.dreamcatcherrep.org or contact Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre at The Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901, 908-514-9654.

About Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre:
Dreamcatcher was founded in 1994, and is a non-profit professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing life-affirming stories in an intimate environment. We seek to expose theatregoers to ideas and lives like and unlike their own, to awaken their imaginations and create empathy for others. The company focuses on deepening the experience of our patrons by supplementing the performances with personal contact through receptions, talkbacks, and interactive programs.


Dreamcatcher's core company of professional local actors performs contemporary work that entertains and challenges, and has at its heart a belief in the essential goodness of people. The company's activities include mainstage productions, improvisational comedy and cabarets, new play readings and a variety of educational and senior outreach programs.
Dreamcatcher's programs are funded by the New Jersey State council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Dramatist Guild Fund, The Summit Area Public Foundation, the Manley-Winser Foundation, and many other corporations, foundations and individuals. Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is a senior member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.