Ages and Stages

The place of theatre in the lives of older people

Theatre has long been used to address issues affecting excluded groups, but has been underutilised in explorations of ageing. Ages and Stages, an ongoing collaboration between Keele University and the New Vic Theatre in Staffordshire, is exploring the impact of theatre on ideas about, and experiences of, ageing.

Through a series of linked projects, the research explored the impact of theatre on perceptions and experiences of ageing and creativity. Over the course of the project, Ages and Stages has shaped creative practices, led to the establishment of a thriving elders’ theatre company, influenced the creative and outreach work of the New Vic and benefitted other arts and community organisations.

The resulting programmes of workshops, performances, annual art festival and extensive outreach work have stimulated public engagement with research on ageing and the arts in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, challenging perceptions of decline in later life, and benefitting both older and other members of the community.

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