Roots and Branches Theater is the resident intergenerational theater company with The Performance Project. Throughout the year, they create original new works of theater with actors ages 18-80 and tour these productions to community and senior centers all over the city.
Earlier this month, Roots and Branches teamed up with the 5th graders from our Beacon summer camp and older adults from our Neighborhood Center at 189 Allen Street for a week of fun, creative theater-making.
The theme for the week was bringing personal stories to life and the generations together. For the entire week, participants of all ages joined together to create an ensemble of actors, playwrights and story tellers using their bodies, voices and imaginations to express their true life stories and experiences! Beyond learning some new skills, there was plenty of fun to be found. Gladys, who has been coming to the Neighborhood Center for many years, said, "I enjoyed being here with all my friends and all the fun I had with the young people."
Different games and exercises explored throughout the week included physical and vocal warm ups, mirroring games, sculpting each other into living super hero statues, and sharing stories related to the theme of home and neighborhood. Jeremy and Andre, both Beacon participants, said they enjoyed meeting new people, learning about their lives, and building teamwork skills.
The ensemble shared memories about where they were born, what they love to do and their favorite spots in our shared neighborhood of the Lower East Side.
The week culminated in a special, one-day-only, intergenerational presentation of everything the group learned about themselves and each other, showing the magic that can happen when the generations come together.