What We Do
We create original documentary scripts gathered from interviews within the community—each year a different theme.
These interviews are then transcribed andshaped into monologues and scenes about everything from dating over 65, to having your false teeth pickpocketed on the NYC subway, to making tough end-of-life decisions. We rehearse and then perform our productions under the direction of Liz Green. Each performance is followed by a post-show talkback about the issues that are raised in the scripts.
We’ve been thrilled at how our audiences reach across lines of race, ethnicity, class, age and gender, so that a high school wrestler, a well established lawyer, a mother on a soup kitchen line, and a retiree from India all respond with affirmation to the stories we perform. And one voice leads another to speak, with new stories emerging. The OnStage theater experience is one that comes full circle. The audience shares stories that matter—and some end up in next year’s show!
Our ensemble's year is divided into training, script creation, and rehearsing our new projects. We perform throughout the year, both at public performances (libraries, theaters, community centers) and privately (nursing homes, conferences, etc.).
Liz Green is an audience engagement and community performance specialist based in Philadelphia. She is currently the director for OnStage Seniors: A Community Project of McCarter Theatre, and the community engagement consultant for the upcoming events surrounding "A Fierce Kind of Love," a project ofVisionary Voices and the Temple University Institute for Disabilities. The project will feature oral histories from the disability community, an original play telling the untold stories of Pennsylvania's Intellectual Disability Rights Movement, and other events throughout Pennsylvania. Previous projects featuring over 100 community performers each include: 100% Philadelphia, presented by FringeArts with ensemble Rimini Protokoll, Henry IV, Your Prince and Mine, presented by Shakespeare in Clark Park and Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, How Philly Moves with JJ Tiziou Photography. She produced the 2011 and 2012 First Person Arts Festivals and StorySlams in museums, community centers, theaters, and bars across Philadelphia. As part of FPA's community engagement program, she directed several original performances with community partners including The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Achieving Independence Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. As Artistic Associate at Two River Theater in New Jersey, she facilitated audience engagement initiatives from 2007-2010, including the Local Artists Network and popular pre-show event BeforePlay. She has studied performance and civic dialogue with Michael Rohd and Sojourn Theatreand documentary theater with Ping Chong and Company. She is earning her Masters in Social Work (Clinical) at Temple University.