Theater beckons older adults

Here’s an opportunity for older adults with a hankering to get on stage.

The Oakland Center for the Arts is launching a daytime program it is calling Gray Matters that is aimed at older folks who always wanted to their hand at theater but never had the time.

Gray Matters will offer an overview of what it takes to be a performer, and the option to participate in a production.

The program with be directed by Victor Garcia, a veteran community theater actor and director. Classes will take place at Park Vista on Fifth Avenue in Youngstown and Trinity Fellowship Church on South Avenue in Boardman.

Gray Matters will immerse participants in the different types of theater, while sharing knowledge and skills.

In time, it will present small musical revues, plays, readers theater, original works and lunch and dinner theater programs – each geared toward older adults.

For information or to register call Garcia at 330-951-5847. The cost is $60.


In an effort to revitalize its youth theater program, the Youngstown Playhouse has appointed two program directors.

Joanna Andrei and Sarah Jane Demetruk were unanimously hired by the theater’s board of directors last month. The two are experienced in children’s theater education and have been involved in several recent productions at the Playhouse.

The hiring marks the first time in five years that the Playhouse’s youth theater has had personnel dedicated to its development and programming.

Once an essential part of the Playhouse, the youth program had been operating at a lower profile in recent years because of budgetary restrictions and a lack of staffing.

The new directors will pursue grants and sponsorships to raise funds, while teaching acting and performance skills through shows, workshops and classes.

The youth program targets children age 5 to 18 and will include instructors from diverse theater backgrounds.


Incredibly, Mah Jongg has never really caught on in the Mahoning Valley.

But the ancient Chinese game – which is played on a table top with small printed tiles – is definitely a thing at the Canfield library.

The branch’s Friends of the Library organization is staging a Mah Jongg Tournament fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 19 at A La Cart Catering in Canfield.

The event will begin with brunch and end with sweets and the announcement of the winners.

The top three players will receive cash prizes. There will also be a raffle with many interesting items.

Mah Jongg foursomes can sign up now by calling 330-740-6086. The fee is $25 per person, and the deadline to register is March 1.

Parties of less than four will be combined when possible.

Who knows – maybe one day, the Mahoning Valley will be known as the Mahjongg Valley.

Guy D’Astolfo covers entertainment for The Vindicator. Follow him on Twitter at @VindyVibe.

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