STAGEBRIDGE

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Education, Human Services, Seniors

Location: 2501 Harrison St Oakland CA 94612 USA

Mission: Stagebridge is the nation's oldest senior theatre company. The average age of actors, storytellers and volunteers is 70 years old. The company was founded in 1978 by director, Dr. Stuart Kandell, because opportunities did not exist for older adults to participate in the performing arts. These opportunities are still very limited. The company's mission, to bridge the generations, is as vital today as it was 20 years ago. Children have limited contact with their grandparents or other older adults. They grow up with media stereotypes of what it is like to be old. Stagebridge exists to provide positive images of old age and demonstrate that older adults can be creative, energetic and work together with young people. As our world rapidly ages, this is a most vital goal.
Programs: The company trains older adults in theatre; creates original plays about aging and tours them to community sites; runs an innovative program of performances, workshops and storytelling for local elementary schools; presents original plays for public audiences; and features grandparent storytellers on an annual series of radio programs. Stagebridge reaches 32,000 people a year in schools, senior facilities, and community sites. The company has a national reputation for its work and has appeared on CNN, World Monitor TV, ABC, and PBS. Stagebridge has program materials available for sale as well as consultant services. The company is directed by founder Dr. Stuart Kandell.
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EIN 94-2894993
http://www.stagebridge.org

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I studied theatre in college and graduated with a BFA, but had to work and had a fulfilling career in public housing.However, after 33 years, I retired and started taking drama classes in San Jose and Berkeley Rep after moving to Kensington.I heard about Stagebridge and wondered if I would find it challenging. All I can say is wow! I am taking the Musical Theatre class and our teacher Ellen is very professional and helpful.The choreography is good for the brain and the body and the joy with being with other people who love to sing takes away the sting of aging.I am so happy to be associated with Stagebridge and plan to take lots more classes.Thank you Stagebridge...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have a dance room with no carpet.In a perfect world they would have a facility of their own with a stage, dance room and practice rooms.Nothing money couldn't fix!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I retired from teaching high school years ago. Finding an activity as challenging and absorbing as teaching was my goal. Stagebridge feels like home to me. I connect with people my age, who want to sing and dance and laugh, who are challenging themselves, developing skills, taking risks and most important, are experiencing the bliss of performing for each other.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make certain more people know about the joys of Stagebridge

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

After spending my whole adult life in San Francisco, I moved to Berkeley with no community to speak of. My new next door neighbor introduced me to Stagebridge and my life has been miraculously Transformed. All the classes and instructors are wonderful, but to me it's the other students, my "peeps", that make it all worthwhile. There are plenty of places in the East Bay especially Berkeley for seniors to find enlightening activities. But for me Stagebridge has just the right mix of people who match my enthusiasm for music, theater, playing , clowning, and storytelling.

My first summer at camp was totally exhausting and life-changing. I came home each evening feeling like I have been gone for a week. The intensity of the experience was incredible.

Now, I attend weekly classes in jazz harmony chorus, musical theater, beginning acting, and scene study. The only puzzle in my mind is why haven't more people heard of Stagebridge? I am here now shouting from the rooftops that this is the best way to age ever! I can't wait to go to the rest home with my new Stagebridge friends.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish fund-raising weren't such an ongoing downer. Nonprofits everywhere are suffering so I understand that we lost a grant to an organization that feeds senior citizens tummies rather than rather than their minds and souls. It's just a darn shame...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

After I retired several years ago, I wanted to do something new and fulfilling. The moment I arrived at my first Stagebridge class, I knew I had chosen well. The high quality of instruction, the easy camaraderie, and the variety of classes all combine to make Stagebridge the most stimulating and meaningful part of my life today. I'm learning and laughing all the time. I've never had so much fun!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When I moved to Oakland four years ago, I discovered StAGEbridge, a performing arts organization for seniors. They offer a wide range of classes and workshops from playwriting to acting; from singing to musical theater. There is a wonderful summer camp that lasts a week and gives you the opportunity to explore such things as clowning, improv, drumming, dance, chorus, ukelele, and again, musical theater. Having been working in amateur theatrics for many years, it was like a "welcome home!" I have met many wonderful people, all the instructors are top notch and it has added a wonderful dimension to my life!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get the word out that it exists; encourage more people to participate!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Stagebridge is the nation's oldest senior (50+) theater company. It trains playwrights, actors, storytellers, singers, dancers, and other performing artists and shares them with schools, senior centers, and the general public.

The free assemblies and classroom teaching programs in elementary schools alone are an amazing community resource. Thousands of students have been exposed to, and instructed in, drama and storytelling, improving their literacy, their poise and self-confidence, their imaginations, their language skills, and their general awareness and appreciation of the arts as a part of a fulfilling life. The instruction at Stagebridge, and the programs Stagebridge offers to schools and other community institutions is professional, deep, and profoundly enriching. What a gift to the Bay Area Community!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund it better to magnify it's positive impact on the life of the Bay Area Community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Stagebridge is a wonderful school for the arts, with teachers who are leaders in their fields. Stagebridge is a wonderful creative collective where artists work together, learn from each other, and are inspired to go the next step. Stagebridge is a wonderful contributor to the East Bay community, providing arts to underserved schools, senior centers, and the general public at little or no cost. Stagebridge is a family of creative people who have gotten to know each other on every level and have been enriched by those connections. If you are looking for a creative home, look no further.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

I love the opportunities that Stagebridge provides. Although I've danced during my adult life, I never
had the chance to Tap Dance. The level of Instruction that Stagebridge offers is excellent and feels like a gift. Every class I've taken has talented Instructors who love and know how to share their art. Five years ago if someone had told me that I would be acting in a short play, I would have thought they
were talking about someone else. Stagebridge offers a richness to my life.
Classes offered give you the chance to develop in ways you never imagined.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hope they get more grants so they can offer classes to both paying and non-paying students.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Stagebridge is a haven for older adults who want to experience the performing arts. The variety of theatre arts classes, theatrical outreach programs and performance opportunities are exciting and challenging. What makes Stagebridge even more delightful is the wonderful supportive nature of both the teachers and fellow students. You don't need to know anything about theatre to join Stagebridge and become an integral part of it.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a fantastic place to nurture your creative beast. I highly recommend it to anyone in need of self expression and community!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Stagebridge is a school for the performing arts for seniors, but this doesn't begin to describe the amazing impact it has on the lives of the participants. Many of us had dreams of performing when we were young, but life got in the way. Now, with a lifetime of other experiences, we can let go and fulfill those dreams. Most people don't realize how much talent has been hidden for years until they take classes, perform or just be in the audience! Stagebridge also helps bridge the generations with storytelling in schools, and shows geared to youngsters. A remarkable resource and treasure in the Bay Area which is no where as well known as it deserves to be!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Stagebridge is a unique Senior Theater Company. I had done a little acting in school and college, and again in a local community theater while in my 40's, but never did really follow through on my childhood dream of being in theater. Then, in the winter of 2009, I discovered Stagebridge. I've been taking classes there ever since. I also was discouraged as a child from singing, but at Stagebridge discovered that I'm not so terrible a singer (60 years later!). So now I take acting, musical theater (including some dancing), and singing classes, and perform at the end of each semester in various showcases (in such venues as the Aurora Theater and Ashby Stage). The teachers are all professional and dedicated; the atmosphere is totally supportive; and the other students are equally amazing. We all encourage and help each other. In addition to the classes (lots more than just the three I've mentioned), Stagebridge also does community outreach to schools and senior facilities.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?