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JCC offers theater program for seniors

When Shirley Fenner Reidenbaugh asked if the Jewish Community Center could provide rehearsal space for a new seniors' theater group, JCC Executive Director Marci Erlebacher said she jumped on it.

Reidenbaugh is a professional actress who created and successfully ran the program, "Seniors Reaching Out," for three years while living in Greensboro, N.C.. She also has an impressive resume built up right here in Central New York that includes several seasons with Syracuse University's New Playhouse and the Syracuse Repertory Theatre.

"Shirley is amazing," Erlebacher said. "She is a high quality lady and performer and we are very proud to be associated with her."

Seniors Reaching Out is open to the entire community aged 50-plus, and you don't have to be an actor or JCC member to join. The group's goal will be to entertain residents of senior-related facilities and other local venues, with a potpourri of considerations including short excerpts from Broadway plays, monologues, poetry, tap dancing, vocal and instrumental solos. There will also be opportunities for people to work as stage managers, writers, crew members and assistant directors.

SRO informational meetings will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday Jan. 16 and from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday Jan. 17 at the Jewish Community Center. Reidenbaugh will meet individually with interested seniors to talk about how they can contribute. For those who would like a part in the spotlight, auditions are acceptable but not necessary.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us on many levels and a fantastic way for us, as a community center, to reach out to the entire community," said Erlebacher.

For more information, contact Julie Fleckt at 445-2360 ext. 104 or e-mail jfleck@jccsyr.org.

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