With any luck, we all will get older. Writer Jim R. Rogers, 81, known to most folks on the Grand Strand as a parenting expert, decided to put his thoughts on growing older – the joys, the pains, the epiphanies, the laughs – into poems, published in his book “Starts and Stops Along the Way.”
Now, a selection of his insights, captured as the “Geriatric Monologues”, have already received acclaim as the featured play in the Atlantic Stage New Play competition, and will be performed in June at the Murrells Inlet Community Theater.
Jim’s reflections are poignant and funny: “As we grow older, we start disappearing. Lots of people don’t see us anymore, rarely listen to our stories of who we were, when we were, and being an elder carries very little respect in our youth- oriented high tech world. I wanted more people to understand the process, what we go through, how we feel and that we are still alive and still have much to offer. Once I wore two different shoes. Nobody noticed.”
The Geriatric Monologues world premiere is June 17 at 7:30 p.m. Other performances are: 7:30 p.m. June 18, 24 and 25; and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on June 19 and 26.
Sally Z Hare, his wife and producer, admits to being very biased as Jim’s work on his aging journey has moved from the page to the stage! “I know the play (the Monologues are really more of a staged reading than a play!) will be funny and poignant – but more than that, I think it has great potential to be used to create the space for important conversations between adult children and their parents, between caregivers and the people they serve, with business and service and professional people who work with older folks…
I have already seen a change in the locals who are playing the roles of the 7 characters who “sit in rocking chairs on the front porch of life.” They have moved, in the last six months of readings and rehearsals, to a very different place in their own aging. I have literally watched them shift from sadness and denial about getting older to a place of pride and acceptance – and a kind of activism with a delightful humor!”