Intergenerational Theatre Course

Drama 427 / 507, Intergenerational Theatre Course


Drama 427/507, Intergenerational Theatre, is a combined undergraduate and graduate course. The curriculum includes research into the practice of seniors’ theatre companies, such as Age Exchange (UK), Roots and Branches (US) and StageBridge (US). Students engage with the GeriActors in theatre workshops, devised play development, and performance. Students and seniors lead improvisations, and develop content based on stories, images and issues. At the conclusion of the course, students present either a research paper or draft of a new script.


Students come from a variety of programs, including Drama, Secondary and Elementary Education, Human Ecology, Pharmacy and Public Health. Graduate Assistantships are available, and graduate students have pursued creative and research projects in Multicultural Theatre, comparative study of seniors’ theatre companies, archival analysis, dramaturgy, and program evaluation. For some students the course is included in their Certificate in Community Engagement and Service-Learning.

On graduation, students follow a variety of career and academic paths, including participation in community-based theatre, teaching, overseas volunteering, and graduate programs in Drama Therapy (Concordia) and Applied Theatre (Victoria, Manchester).


David Barnet, Founding Artistic Director of GeriActors, is a professor in the Drama Department of the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He has given presentations on seniors theatre for the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, ATHE (Association of Theatre in Higher Education), Creative Age Edmonton, Creative Age Calgary, British Society of Gerontology, and the Society for the Arts in Dementia Care. He is also on the faculty of the Encore Institute in Chautauqua, New York.

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