April, 2023
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Bonnie's Column


Everybody Ought to Have a...House Manager

Well, it doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "a maid..." in the song from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but the role of House Manager is a critical, and often overlooked, part of your production.
When I was a graduate student in the Theatre Department at the University of Oregon, my Teaching Fellowship was to serve as the House Manager on every main stage, experimental, and student production. I learned how this one person in charge of the front-of-house can make audience members feel welcome and comfortable and insure that the production goes smoothly. No matter how small your theatre, you should have a House Manager.

Responsibilities of the House Manager include:
  • Directing the ushers: They schedule, train, welcome, coach, and reward the ushers. House Managers teach ushers about emergency procedures.
  • Welcoming the patrons: They set the mood and temperature of the theatre space, fix problems with tickets, seating, or other needs. In an emergency, they take charge.  
  • Coordinating with the theatre staff: Prepare the house, making sure the space is clean and neat. They open the house when the Stage Manager gives the cue to let the audience into the space, usually 30 minutes before showtime. They sound the end-of-intermission warnings.
  • Closing the house after the show: They clean the audience space so that it is ready for the next performance, picking up debris, collecting unused programs, and discarding soiled ones. 
The result is that your cast and crew can relax, and focus on presenting the best possible performance, knowing there is someone on duty in case something should go wrong with the audience. Likewise, the audience is at ease and comfortable knowing they can bring their needs to a House Manager.

When you want a good show for everyone - the cast, crew, and audience, it's the House Manager that is the finishing touch. Yes, even you "...ought to have a House Manager!"

Yours in Theatre,

Bonnie L. Vorenberg
President, ArtAge Publications' Senior Theatre Resource Center

Our Plays are Being Performed!

In recent performances of You're the Jury: The Case of the Steele Deal, the house was packed and they are still debating over who is the rightful owner of the $3 million dollar lottery ticket. (photo right)

Audiences in Kansas are still laughing about the misadventures of The Pie Ladies where the three comedies were produced together. Those well-intentioned women seem to always get themselves into trouble. 
In Illinois, audiences recognized the annoying waiter in Lunch with Eddie which is found in Age on Stage© Comedies for Readers Theatre Volume II. This book includes some of our most performed plays! If you don't have it on your shelf, you should. 

A group in Arizona staged two of Bob Naquin's plays. His unique sense of humor tied shows together nicely! Both Doctor, Doctor and Feeble Fables had audiences laughing and asking for more. 

Chatterton Country Club had audiences chattering in California about the trials, tribulations, and joys of growing older.

In Montana, the house was filled for a real "rip-roaring" performance of The Complaint Department. "I never thought returning a rectal thermometer could be so funny!" was heard after the performance.  
In Kansas, the cast of Shenanigans at the Blue Pelican Inn, did a great job bringing the quirky characters to life (photo below).

"Our shows were well-performed, and the audiences gave us plenty of encouraging laughter and applause. Their engagement gave the cast energy!"
— B. Cox, Producer/Director

Web Survey Results are in!

Thank you for your feedback!

We received an overwhelming number of compliments about our new website, and made several changes thanks to the great ideas from our readers. If you haven't checked out our new look, please visit us at

Who's Who in Senior Theatre Member Spotlight

PlayZoomers, a member of Who's Who in Senior Theatre, invites you to join the audience for their upcoming online performance of HUNKER Down by Robert F. Benjamin. 

In this romantic comedy, a spunky older woman clashes and banters with a crusty curmudgeon. They experience isolation in May 2020 and then a year later, grapple with their changed reality and the need for engagement. Can social distancing spawn an unlikely, lasting friendship? Or more?

Register for "HUNKER Down"
Fees on a sliding scale
$30 – Supporter | $25 – Basic | $20 – Reduced
Scholarships are available

April Sale

Take $5 off 

Griddle Cakes
2 women, 10 minute comedy
In rocking chairs on their front porch, two sisters debate the merits of answering the telephone, global warming, and attending the annual wildflower walk.

Stanley's Choice
2 men, 3 women, 30 minute comedy
This year, Stanley gets to choose where the two couples go on vacation. His wife is in a panic after suspecting he's opted for a nudist colony. The joke is on her! Hilarious!
Finding Zeus
1 man, 1 woman, 10 minute comedy
Charles is accustomed to the fancies and whims of his wife, Martha. Yet she can still shake up their daily routine and bring a fresh lens to their long-term relationship.

Garden of Entanglements
1 man, 1 woman, 18 minutes
Realizing her garden is a metaphor for her life, the uprooted French Cabaret singer gains understanding and reconnection with her husband. 

Imagination Never Gets Old
1 man, 1 woman, 10 minute
Rudy and his wife Wanda relive their dancing days in their imaginations. A lovely show!

The Reunion
2 men, 10 minutes
A chance encounter on a New York street brings together a bored businessman and the friend who has waited fifty years to return a crayon.

Lifeguard on Duty
2 either, 25-30 minute comedy
Two old friends have come out of retirement to become lifeguards at the local beach. Will they be able to get along in the small space? 

Blinking Lights in the Middle of the Night
1 man, 1 woman, 1 either
Sally and Carl receive a late-night visit from an alien tourist making a pit stop while traveling among the stars. But why is he on Sally and Carl’s lawn?
Under a Magical Moon
1 man, 1 woman or can be staged with 3 men and 3 women
20-25 minute romance
The magic of the night sky holds sway over lovers in Indiana.
Click here for April's Sale

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