NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The Inn, Waveny LifeCare Network’s independent senior living residence, recently delighted the local community with its incredible “Living Tableaux,” a unique, interactive and much-anticipated theatrical Inn tradition since 2009.
This year’s production marked the Inn’s 4th Living Tableaux performance, and featured 17 resident models reenacting famous literary protagonists. As traditional black drape curtains were pulled aside to reveal the living novels, the audience was challenged to identify each literary character, their book of origin, and a related song played by volunteer pianist Justine McCurdy accompanying each reveal. The all-resident cast included:
- Rhoda Fisher, Alice Page and Jane Corcoran as the “Three Witches” from Shakespeare’s MacBeth
- Betty De’Araujo as “Hester Prynne” from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter
- Rita Price as “Little Red Riding Hood” from Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood
- David Brown as “Proust” from Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way: In Search of Lost Time
- Charlotte Brown as “Charlotte” from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web
- Nancy Hugo as the “Mad Hatter” from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
- Dorothy Summers as “Anne Morrow Lindberg” from Lindberg’s Gift From the Sea
- Helen Tomaselli as “Miss Havishan” from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations
- Stuart Aaron as “Jay Gatsby” from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
- Sven Englund as “Harry Potter” from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Ron Barlow as “Don Quixote” from Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha
- Ann Throop as “Anna Leonowens” from Margaret Landon’s Anna and the King
- Don Harbour as “Sherlock Holmes” from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
- Ginny Lamborn as “Lysistrata” from Aristophanes’ Lysistrata
- David Metz as “Rip Van Winkle” from Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle
Best known as tableaux vivants or living pictures, the Living Tableaux art form originated centuries ago in Europe, but is perhaps best known today through the “Pageant of the Masters,” a celebrated annual event at Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts, 50 miles south of Hollywood, Calif.
Past years’ Tableaux productions at The Inn have featured famous paintings, stars of the silver screen, and American icons. “When we first started this tradition at The Inn, it was something I’d wanted to do for over a decade,” said Barbara Jeffries, assistant director of Resident Activities. “Finally I thought, ‘what are we waiting for?’ and put up a notice on our activities bulletin board to recruit players. I had no idea what to expect among the residents, but to my delight nearly a dozen people showed up at our first meeting.” And the rest, as they say, was history, with the Tableaux project gaining a steady momentum of interest, anticipation and participation each year.
According to Jeffries, one of the most challenging – yet exciting – contributing factors to the yearly production’s success is the intense collaboration involved. “It’s a fairly ambitious project to even consider doing, but between the costumes, practice and attention to detail, I think each tableaux looked very authentic,” said Jeffries. “The smiles on the faces of everyone in the audience made every moment of our efforts and planning worth it, and our residents – many of whom are in their 80s and 90s – derived so much pleasure from the entire process from start to finish. It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s inspired, and above all, it’s something very different that we’re thrilled to share with the community.”
Located at 73 Oenoke Ridge in New Canaan, The Inn offers independent senior living through Waveny LifeCare Network and welcome seniors from all areas. Celebrating 40 years of serving the community, Waveny provides a comprehensive continuum of healthcare to serve the growing needs and changing preferences of older adults.
Waveny is a non-profit organization that offers independent living at The Inn, assisted living for people with Alzheimer’s and memory loss at The Village, and skilled nursing at Waveny Care Center. It also includes Waveny Home Healthcare, Waveny at Home, the Brown Geriatric Evaluation Clinic, Geriatric Care Management, an Adult Day Program available on weekdays with flexible hours, inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation Services, and short-term lodging respite programs for caregiver relief. For information call 1-855-WAVENY-1 or visit www.waveny.org.