Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

World Premiere of SENIOR LIVING Directed by Judith Ivey Opens This Friday

The play is framed by Morty and Angelina, who are debating whether to move into Riverdale Manor, a retirement community in the Bronx.

World Premiere of SENIOR LIVING Directed by Judith Ivey Opens This Friday

In an unprecedented season of five new works in its six-show subscription season, the third new work in the series, Senior Living, opens this Friday, January 28 at 7:30 pm. Initially slated for the 2020-21 season, the show was postponed due to the pandemic. Last season's live-streamed staged reading reached record-breaking numbers suggesting an audience eager for shows based on an oft-neglected demographic in the theater canon: senior citizens. Directed by two-time Tony-winning actress and director Judith Ivey, and written by Grammy-nominated Tor Hyams and Broadway veteran Lisa St. Lou, it is a star-studded event with multiple Broadway/feature film/television artists: Beth Glover, David Wohl, and Steve Vinovich, as well as local/regional favorites Cynthia Barnett and Grace Bauer. All actors are given ample room to flex their talents as they each play three to five different characters.

The play is framed by Morty and Angelina, who are debating whether to move into Riverdale Manor, a retirement community in the Bronx. The stories are connected by a throughline of a talent show, where local residents sing, dance, and even perform burlesque.

"It's a play about people dying to live," explains Tor Hyams. "All the characters, in some fashion, are trying to decide what to do with the time they have left, whether that be climbing Machu Picchu or starting a new stand-up comedy career. To me, that's the heart of the play. That's what makes it universal, because none of us know how much time we have left. So, it begs the question of all of us, whether we're 15, 50, or 90; what are we going to do with the time we have left?" St. Lou further explains, "They're just slice-of-life conversations that could take place at any age. It was cathartic to realize that there is barely any difference between older people and us, or anyone for that matter. We are all looking for hope and love and, most of all, fun! When we found that joy, we were able to write this piece with pure abandon."

Director Judith Ivey says she was attracted to the play because it was written about people of a certain age without stereotypes. "The characters are going through life with their issues, events, longings, needs, wants, and it actually has very little to do with their age. That's a really wonderful way to write about age - without commenting on it. It's the talent of any great writer. And that's the joy of this great play - these two great writers."

Playwright John Cariani introduced Executive and Artistic Director Anita Stewart to Senior Living and the writing team Tor Hyams and Lisa. St. Lou after Stewart expressed a desire for new work that wasn't based on the usual fodder: young, cosmopolitan people. Stewart used Almost, Maine as an example since Cariani's play represents rural people in Maine. She wanted a play featuring older characters. When asked why she chose to bring Senior Living specifically to Portland Stage, Stewart shared, "This is going to be that shot of love, hope, enthusiasm, and humor that all of us need right now in these dark days," says Stewart.


Lynn / Alice / Mary / Ellen Cynthia Barnett*

Angelina / Edith / Susan Grace Bauer*

Lily / Carol / Denise Beth Glover*

Morty / Richard / Paddy / Brobson / Lou Steve Vinovich*

Frank / Robert / Joe / Dr. Miller David Wohl*

*member Actors' Equity Association

Director Judith Ivey***

Scenic Designer David Goldstein**

Costume Designer Vanessa Leuck**

Lighting Designer SeifAllah Salotto-Cristobal

Sound Designer John Morrison

Stage Manager Meg Lydon*

Choreographer Maria A. Tzianabos

Wig Designer Bobbie Cliffton Zlotnik

*member Actors' Equity Association; **member United Scenic Artists; ***member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society


Live In-Theater Dates: January 26 - February 13, 2022

Digital Streaming Dates: February 9 - February 27, 2022

Conversations to enhance your experience:

Artistic Perspective • Sunday, January 30 on zoom. Register Link:

Curtain Call • Sunday, February 6 on zoom. Register Link:

Run Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes • No Intermission

Box Office Hours: Tuesday through Saturday • Noon to 5 pm and 2 hours before performance time

Box Office Phone: 207.774.0465

Box Office Email:

Tickets Online:

In-Person: $20-$63. Discounts for seniors 65+, and students.

Pay What You Can: Find rules and restrictions on the website.
Digital Streaming: $25 online, or call the box office for Pay-What-You-Can.

RUSH35 Tickets: $15 at the door for registered participants ages 35 and under.

Related Articles View More Portland Stories

More Hot Stories For You