Having a ‘Senior Moment’


By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle
Cyndi Slussar, the activities leader at the E.L. Evans Senior Center, gamely fills in for an absent member of the Showstoppers Acting Group with director Tom Cash during a rehearsal of the upcoming comedy, “Senior Moments.” The original play, which was written by Grove City resident John Schall, will be performed at the center on June 6 and 7.

The director of an upcoming production from the Evans Center’s Showstoppers Acting Group is issuing a disclaimer to the public regarding its content.

“What happens at this senior center is not what happens at this senior center,” said Tom Cash with a big laugh.
And yet, he assures those wishing for a behind-the-scenes look at the happenings at the E.L. Evans Center will find enough familiarity at the fictional Young at Heart Center.

“This is just a fun, light-hearted story that I think everyone will be able to relate to on some level,” Cash said.

The spring production, which is titled “Senior Moments,” takes the audience through a day-in-the-life at the popular activities center for those aged 55 and beyond. It takes us through a gossip-filled card game, it introduces us to a silver-fox who is always on the prowl, and it warns us of the hazards of cafeteria food.

“When I tried to cut into a pork chop,” laments one character, who likened the meat to a wooden roof shingle, “I broke the darn little plastic knife and fork.”

The production also tells us that it is OK to laugh at the silly little things we do, and forget to do.

“I’m lost in the curtain,” proclaims the announcer (played by Jim Hamby), as he battles the thick cloth before the introduction of the opening scene at the Young at Heart Center.

The production is another comedic offering from the widely recognized Showstoppers Acting Group but there is something different about this one, said Jean Dandrea.

“We always want to put on a good show, but we really want to put on a good show for “Senior Moments,” said the actress who is playing a self-described ‘flirty old lady.’

The reasoning behind that extra ‘oomph’ is because the play is an original work and it was written by one of the center’s members and one of their friends

“It makes it all the more special,” said Dandrea.

The idea for “Senior Moments” took root in the head of John Schall more than five years ago when he started to experience ‘senior moments.’

“Lapses in memory, forgetting words, things like that,” said the Grove City resident.

With his wife’s encouragement, he started to put those experiences to paper but as an exaggeration and with more characters. He said he never once thought of making his play a drama, or even a ‘dramedy.’

“I don’t like writing dramas, only comedies,” Schall said. “People need to laugh.”

He said he did not write the play, which has recently been published, specifically for the Showstoppers to perform, but was happy when he learned that Cash selected it to be their first production of the year.

“It meant a lot to me.”

Schall said he hopes that the public will be able to come out, enjoy the play, relate to the dialogue, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

“I’m excited for them to see it,” he said.

The Showstoppers Acting Group will present “Senior Moments” on June 6 with performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on June 7 at 1 p.m. at the Evans Center, 4330 Dudley Ave. in Grove City. Admission is free but donations of non-perishable food items or personal care items for the Grove City Food Pantry are welcome. Monetary contributions to the Showstoppers Acting Group are also accepted. The Center requests large groups call 614-277-1060 to check for seating arrangements.

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