CRNs in the Community: Chinese CRN Produces Profound Theatre on Elder Abuse

Group of actors from a theatrical production

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), the most important event of the year at BC CRN.

The Chinese CRN worked with MOSAIC to produce a performance to inform their audiences about elder abuse in the Chinese and immigrant populations. The performances, held during WEAAD week, were a smashing success. Daisy Au, Coordinator of the Senior Club at MOSAIC, wrote the following:

Amplifying Immigrant Seniors’ Voices through Performing Art

The “Seniors Take on Things We Never Talk About” musical theatre is leaving a profound impact on our community. This initiative provides a platform for immigrant seniors’ voices, experiences, and wisdom through music and performance. The musical sensitively addresses elder abuse, aging stereotypes, myths about age-appropriate behaviour and the importance of social connection.

Six additional performances have been added in the wake of a well-received premiere in March 2024. These upcoming events are designed to engage a diverse range of immigrant clients, stakeholders and the community at large, further amplifying the voices of immigrant seniors and fostering meaningful dialogue.

Performances on June 10–11 were dedicated to World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15. The musical aims to raise awareness and generate conversation about elder abuse, advocating for greater support for, and protection and inclusion of immigrant seniors in our society.

Script Rooted in Actors’ Lived and Observed Experiences

Written and directed by Andrea Montgomery Di Marco, a dedicated volunteer and leader in MOSAIC’s seniors program, this musical explores sensitive issues such as elder abuse, age-related stereotypes, and the impact of gender roles on seniors through poignant songs and compelling storytelling.

“The musical is the work of my heart,” says Andrea. “I hope the audience not only enjoys the performance but also reflects on and integrates what they experience.”

The creation of this musical has been a collaborative journey, where each participant contributed their own character infused with personal stories, challenges, and triumphs. Starting with themed workshops and culminating in months of rehearsals, seniors immersed themselves in dialogue, expressive arts, and mutual support to bring their roles to life on stage.

This project has been transformative for many participants, fostering growth, newfound skills, and lasting friendships. It has challenged stereotypes about aging and highlighted the resilience and talents of immigrant seniors.

“This initiative aims to change negative attitudes about aging and bring elder abuse into the light,” emphasized Andrea. “By sharing their experiences and wisdom, seniors enrich our understanding of life journeys.”

Back by Popular Demand: Performances and Community Forums

“We invite you to experience this unforgettable performance as we work toward building a community in which all are treated with dignity and respect,” says Daisy Au.  Upcoming performances will be held June 24 and June 26 at 7:00–8:30 pm and June 25 and June 27 at 1:30–3:00 pm at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre, 950 W. 41 Avenue, Vancouver. Tickets are free, but audience members are asked to reserve their spot by calling 604-362-4318, or by registering on the show’s webpage. Follow-up community discussions will be held at a later date. Audience members can sign up by following the link in the play’s program.


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