Senior acting troupe takes the stage

May 12, 2014

It was standing-room-only on a recent Friday afternoon at the Prince William Senior Center. The draw? “Check Please,” a comic revue performed by the Past Time, Prime Time Players.

Now in its fifth year, the troupe is made up of more than a dozen seniors under the direction of Center for the Arts acting teacher John Waldron. “Check Please” includes comedy routines, songs and skits — one of which, “Fried Chicken,” was written by cast member Jack Millett, who performs it with his wife, Pam.

Millett, who based “Fried Chicken” on his second date with his wife of nearly 50 years, said it’s hard to find scripts for seniors. He read some and thought, “I can do better than that!” Millett has written several plays for the troupe over the years.

Before Friday’s performance at the Manassas senior center, Waldron walked the actors through a final rehearsal, making last-minute adjustments.

“John says if you forget your lines, just put it in your own words,” said Susan Charest, who performed a skit with Doris Tchakirides. “We improvise a lot.”

Eowana Jordan, left, Pam Millett and Jan Lawler of the Past Time, Prime Time Players rehearse the song “Be My Baby.” (Sarah Lane/TheWashington Post)

Eowana Jordan, Pam Millett and Jan Lawler did one last run-through of the revue’s final number, the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” before taking the stage.

The Players, sponsored by the Center for the Arts with a grant from the Trinity Episcopal Church’s Thornton Trust, meet once a month at the center to plan, rehearse and try out new material.

“They have so much talent,” said Gerry Ethington, who joined the group last year. “I just love to sit and watch. Everyone gets into their parts so much.”

Members of the Past Time, Prime Time Players will perform in the senior center’s annual Variety Review, scheduled for 1 p.m. May 30 at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., Manassas. Admission is free. 703-330-2787. www.center-for-the-arts.org.

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