The residents of Bradford Village brought “Broadway Hits: A Year in Revue” to the stage this past weekend at Oklahoma Christian University.
On Saturday afternoon, residents of Bradford Village Senior Living Community performed in a play at Judd Theatre. The event program described the show as “a performance designed to make the audience laugh and sing along with the cast.” The program encouraged viewers to watch for appearances from newlyweds Curly and Laurey, from Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”, struggle to find their way home.
Robert Drummond, portraying the lead role of Curly, said the cast included members from all sections of the retirement home.
“Our activity directors thought of the play as a project that could involve the folks from each of our communities: independent living, assisted living and the long term care center,” Drummond said.
One of the activity directors at Bradford Village, Caitlin Cairns, serves as director of resident programming and is a registered drama therapist. Drummond said Cairns’ contribution helped make the performance a success.
“This is her bailiwick,” Drummond said. “I think it was good growth for everybody.”
Cairns wasn’t the only cast member who had prior experience working in the theatre. Drummond grew up in a family which encouraged participation in their own community theatre. He also performed with a thespian group in a number of shows throughout high school and college.
According to Drummond, the senior living community wanted to organize an event which would challenge the residents both physically and mentally. Drummond said the event was an opportunity for all the residents to work together towards a common goal.
“There’s physical exertion and there’s some mental exertion in learning lines and remembering stage directions,” Drummond said.
Drummond said the idea pushed the residents to try something new. Although the play presented challenges, the activity directors received a positive response from residents.
“As soon as they announced it to the residents, and said they were going to have tryouts, they had a lot of participation from the very beginning,” Drummond said. “I think it gave them some confidence, and kind of got out of their comfort zone a little bit.”
While the play featured songs from well-known Broadway hit musicals, Drummond said the matchmaker number was his favorite.
“We all had a good time doing it,” Drummond said. “We hope the audience had a good time and enjoyed the show.”
Quinn Gorges said she chose to attend the event because she has close ties with the senior community, and because she wanted to offer support to Cairns.
“My grandmother passed away last year and she was a resident at the assisted living at Bradford,” Gorges said. “Caitlin Cairns is a family friend as well. I came out to support Caitlin and see what my grandmother’s former friends and neighbors were up to.”
Gorges mother, Dawn Enderwood, was also in attendance. Enderwood said she knew a few people performing and enjoyed supporting those friends. Some audience favorites, according to Gorges and Enderwood, included the Camelot and Les Miserables numbers.
Gorges and Enderwood said they want to attend another musical performance by the senior living community in the future and thought everyone did a great job.
“I would love to see what they can come up with next year or some other time in the future,” Gorges said.