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.