Recognizing that seniors are natural artists, and embracing their love of stories, Teatro Circulo’s multigenerational program taps into the vast experiences of seniors to share their own stories and make a performance from them.
Abuelito, dime tú
ABUELITO, DIME TÚ – GRANDPA, GRANDMA, TELL ME A STORY
Program Manager: Rubén Darío Cruz II
Teatro Círculo’s “Abuelito, dime tú” is an in-person and on-line theater residency program conducted at senior care facilities throughout the City, which exercises seniors’ creativity and imagination using techniques of theatrical storytelling and performance – from playwriting to staging, conducted in both English and Spanish Languages. Few programs in NYC actively engage seniors from low- to moderate income neighborhoods of color, and even fewer that cater to the LGBTQ senior community.
While theatrical exercises and play presentations offer numerous benefits for seniors, tapping into the richness of their own history and storytelling powers, Teatro Círculo’s “Abuelito, dime tú” also addresses the cognitive disabilities and physical impairment largely due to a lack of active mental and physical stimulation that come from social isolation. Social isolation as a vital public health policy has unfortunately contributed to a sense of loneliness among seniors, a well-known risk factor for increased mortality in patients with advanced disease and advanced age. Among older New Yorkers, especially in Latinx communities, this is a serious issue affecting their health and wellbeing.
Accordingly, Teatro Círculo recognizes the need to address the social isolation and loneliness heightened by the pandemic. Seniors have become a forgotten group as New York is still recovering from the pandemic. Now more than ever, Teatro Círculo’s “Abuelito, dime tú” combats social isolation and acknowledges the life, dignity, and creativity among our seniors’ constant process of change and growth, developing a renewed sense of self-worth, self-discovery, self-actualization and empowerment through performance and storytelling.
Each senior center residency ends with two public performances created by the senior participants of an original theatrical and/or performance piece that will be mounted and performed in Spanish and/or the primary language of the participants at the “Abuelito dime tú Festival” open to the public at Teatro Círculo’s homebase theater on East 4th Street.