A project to involve the elderly in theatrical arts
Eleven elderly people of Fuerteventura participated last month in a theatrical project called “Entre versos y Marsillach”, an initiative of Varela Producciones, the Company of Blanca Marsillach and La Caixa bank. The elders came from the Centre for the Elderly of Puerto del Rosario as per an agreement with the Employment, Social Politics and Housing Council of the Canarian Government and they took part in an interpretation in Fuerteventura of great verses of the poetry of the Spanish golden era, together with Blanca Marsillach and the actress and co-director Begoña Mencía. This is an adaptation of Mónica Buiza of the tribute that Adolfo Marsillach, Amparo Rivelles and María Jesús Valdés created of the great Spanish dramatists in 1997. The selection included plays such as Poderoso caballero es Don Dinero of Francisco de Quevedo, Sonetos of Lope de Vega, Que se nos va la Pascua y Letrillas of Góngora, Songs from San Juan de la Cruz, Vivo sin vivir en mí of Santa Teresa de Jesús, and even the Elegía a Ramón Sijé of Miguel Hernández. Fuerteventura is the eighth location of the tour of “Entre versos y Marsillach” that started in 2016 in Barcelona and that has been in 36 towns, changing cast for each representation and giving the opportunity to over 300 elderly people to go on stage. The project includes a training of five days when people learn how to say their verses and how to act on stage, when they are accompanied by the company of Blanca Marsillach. The elderly people are also given one month before the show to get familiar with the texts, to read, understand and situate them in their social context, etc. Theatre to promote social participation amongst elderly people The objective of this project is to promote the social involvement of elderly people through theatre as well as improve their abilities, promoting empathy and team work. Theatrical work through memorisation and recital of those texts is an intellectual stimulus and it is also a way to celebrate those who decide to participate in this opportunity to enjoy texts that are part of the literature history.