Being brand new to MCT, I had no concept of what to expect when walking into Tuesday morning’s rehearsal for Life Gets in the Way. My first observation was the people around me: two MCT staff, a very tall musician, and six senior citizens already joking with one another.
I quickly learned that Rex Deverell, a Chalmers award winning playwright, wrote the show and five senior performers plus MCT’s Artistic Project Manager starred in the show. While helping to set up, I caught them doing warm-ups and running line drills; their jokes made me chuckle, and their eagerness inspired me. Each was so friendly towards me, the newcomer, and seemed so comfortable with the many characters they portrayed.
The show itself is a collection of scenes conveying different elements of life as an older adult, and it begins and ends with the titular song “Life Gets in the Way” which has stuck in my head since first listen. Life Gets in the Way provides a forum for discussing the issues facing senior communities, including memory loss, technological difficulties, and institutionalization among others.
My two days in rehearsal were filled with laughter and learning, an interest in Mixed Company Theatre and its work come alive in a celebration of seniority. The people I’ve met thus far are nothing short of wonderful – welcoming, talented, and engaging – and I can’t wait to see what they do next. I trust they will continue to dispel the myths surrounding old age. Until then, I’ll keep humming “Life Gets in the Way.”
Carli Fink is a volunteer at Mixed Company Theatre and is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queen’s University.