Theater Review: AgeQuake Theatre Company presents ‘Aging IS Refreshing!’

By Edith McCauley
Theater Critic

AgeQuake Theatre Company, founded by joan e. kole six years ago, brings together a group of talented seniors who relate their personal stories of the aging process. Their sense of humor is amazing, and anyone of any age will thoroughly enjoy every moment of their performances. Joan made the focus of her doctoral study how age impacts our lives and the importance of sharing those experiences with others.

The members of the company range in age from their 60s to the mid-80s. Melinda Baker, Bill Duvall, Jan Church Fox, M. Rebecca James, Carl B. Kole, Dennis M. Levre, Dorothy Paige-Turner, Mariann Reilly and joan herself filled in for a missing member. Paige-Turner is musical director and vocal coach, and David Stocker is Dramaturg, assistant director and set designer.

As a traveling troop, simplicity is essential, and individual stories are read to the audience. Performing for clubs, senior citizen venues and celebrations of special occasions, they are presently finalizing their 2011-2012 season.

Their wide-ranging stories explore every experience, past and current — Bathroom Issues, Meet the Danishes, which explored the low-fat diet, and especially interesting to me, Heroes and Heroines. Dorothy recalled an interview with Alberta Hunter at The Cookery in New York City. Hunter, a contemporary of “Queen of the Blues” Bessie Smith, was still performing, and her positive outlook on life was an inspiration to Dorothy and to us all. On one of our trips to New York, we shared a late-night performance with this legendary singer, an unforgettable experience.

Joan is always looking for those interested in being a part of this creative group. Requirements are simple …

Explore your talent as an actor

Use — or rediscover — your creativity

Rehearse just once a week

Have experiences and perspectives you want to share

Can express yourself in writing

Are willing to tell your story

Meet others as fascinating as you are!

Call joan at (815) 398-8090 or e-mail her at

From the March 7-13, 2012, issue

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