The new main stage production at Sierra Madre Playhouse, “The Gin Game”, is a Pulitzer Prize winning play about an aging man and woman who regularly play a game of cards that becomes an escalating, emotional high stakes competition.
In honor of this award-winning play, Playhouse digs deeper into “The Arts Of Aging” with a series of free public events, most of them suitable for both young and old. These events take place at the Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024, which is east of Pasadena. There is ample free parking behind the playhouse.
The 2:30 p.m. matinee of “The Gin Game” is a ticketed event.
Grandparent’s Day is on Sunday Sept. 9, 1 – 2 p.m. Before the Sunday matinee of “The Gin Game,” join youth from the Playhouse’s newly formed Teen Council for some informal cross-generational fun as they set up a photo booth, portrait drawing materials and typewriter stations to write poems and prose dedicated to grandparents and elders. Under approval, the Playhouse will post the masterpieces in a special Grandparents’ Gallery in the lobby. The Playhouse encourages everyone to drop by with his/her grandparent, favorite elder, or just to come by and meet other elders and teens from their volunteer corps.
The panel discussion on “The Arts of Aging” will take place Thursday Sept. 13, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Living engaged and fulfilled lives as one ages can be enhanced by participation in the arts. Hear from experts in the fields of art management, senior advocacy, senior community building and art-based senior living to get some new perspectives on how the arts can be a lifetime pursuit. Confirmed speakers are Michael Murray, strategic business operations director, AARP California; Karen Bagnaard , visual artist with her own line of greeting cards for over 30 years – also membership chair for Pasadena Village; AanjiI Gaspar-Milanovic, director of grants and professional development for Los Angeles County Arts Commission; and Nancy Goodhart chief operations officer of EngAGE. The moderator will be Katherine James, actor and co-star of “The Gin Game” at Playhouse. Katherine is also a trial consultant who specializes in live communication skills based in the discipline of theatre through the company ACT of Communication, which she founded with her husband and co-star in “The Gin Game,” Alan Blumenfeld in 1977.
Gin, the card game, game night will take place Thursday Sept. 20. From 7 – 8:30 p.m. Card tables will be set up and there will be game masters there to aid in instruction of the card game that inspired “The Gin Game.” Anyone from the ages 10 and up are welcome.
Mahjongg game night will take place Thursday Sept. 27, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Card tables will be set up along with game masters who will tutor participants on a game familiar with some parents and grandparents and is still popular today. And according to some history of the card game of gin, it may have evolved from mahjongg because it shares a similar playing concept called “melds.” Anyone from the ages 12 and up are welcome.
Throughout the run of the play the Playhouse will hold “the Gin Game” Lobby Exhibit. “The Gin Game” Lobby Exhibit opens during performance days and programs. This exhibit will display artist-created “Deck of Cards” which celebrates the creation of artists over the age of 55. It illustrates the many active pastimes engaged in by seniors. It is open to the public at each performance and at all free programs.