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Black Arts and Culture

June 28 at Kaufmann Theater: Local Theatre Company Tackles Issue of Respect For Elders

By Leonard E. Colvin

Chief Reporter

New Journal and Guide

American culture has been criticized for disrespecting and abandoning our elderly. After years of contributing to society and rearing their children and careers, many are left in isolation or warehoused in nursing homes until death.

On June 28, starting at 7 p.m., the For Such A Time As This Events Production Company will address the issue in a stage play entitled “Old Woman.” It will be held in the Kaufmann Theater inside the Chrysler Museum in downtown Norfolk.

Tracey Carver Piece wrote the play and will direct the 20-member cast, depicting a single day in the life of Mrs. Elizabeth Eldora Barnes played by Natalie Whitehurst Baker as she passes time at a busy urban bus stop.

During the course of the play, Mrs. Barnes will have passing and revealing encounters with a series of characters, who will briefly use the stop before catching the bus to their destinations.

She will encounter a disabled blind veteran, played by Dewayne Cason; a Wall Street banker, played by Keith L. Lewis; and a rowdy group of teens, among others.

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“In each encounter, the exchange between the ‘old woman’ and the others will reveal some aspect of the condition of our elderly people and how we relate to them,” said Pierce, who also is the founder of the production company.

“I was motivated to write this play because of the way we treat our seniors. We discard, disrespect and devalue our elderly,” said Pierce. “At the same time, you will see the strength, dignity and the wisdom our elderly will give back to show they still have value and substance in our community and lives.”

The play is not a musical, but there will be two musical entrees provided during the production, Pierce said the most inspiring will be rendered by six-year-old Nia Moore, “I Am Promise.”

Pierce is the author of six plays, including another play her amateur acting group performed called “No More Excuses.”

For Such A Time As This Events is based in Portsmouth and has performed their theatrical talents at venues throughout the southside region.

Pierce said she is looking for a permanent home for her productions and hopes to secure one in the very near future.

Part of the proceeds from “Old Woman,” Pierce said, will be given to the Southside Boys and Girls Club and area convalescent homes.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The play starts at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 or at the door $20.

For more information, call (757) 234-1633 or go to website: http://forsuchatimeasthis.wix.com/events

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