Establishing 20 years of partnership, the University of Indianapolis and the Center for Aging & Community decided to celebrate their tenure through song. Through collaboration between the Center for Aging & Community and the Fonseca Theatre Company, a company who celebrates diversity and inclusion in Indianapolis through creative outlets like plays, the two groups created “Forever Sung: A Celebration of Aging in Song.”
The celebration is a show that demonstrates aging by celebrating it, welcoming the process of aging and growing older and reflecting the reality of it in a positive light, according to Communication Manager of the Center for Aging & Community Amy Magan. Performers in the celebration perform in acting and singing, as the show aims to broadcast its message through a focus of song, according to Magan.
“We have a song in the show called ‘Making Friends With My Gray Hair,’” Magan said. “…Talking about the fact that I’ve embraced my gray hair means I’m saving a bunch of money because I’m not getting my hair colored and I feel more confident about who I am. I’m more than the color of my hair.”
Production Director at the Fonseca Theatre Company Jordan Flores Schwartz likes to view the play as a musical review. Incorporating both youth and older members to capture the concept in the play, Schwartz said that the play takes you between the stages of aging.
“It’s a selection—I believe about 14 or so songs that all deal with different aspects of the aging process. Some of them are funny, some of them are sad,” Schwartz said. “There’s also a little bit of the youth perspective.”
“Forever Sung” employs artistic commentary through songs within the play, with themes of aging and staying viable while aging, which is an important aspect of the show, according to Schwartz. Nuances of aging and the highlighting of a rather bitter connotation of it are referenced throughout the play, according to Magan.
Magan headed the development and collaboration between the parties. Magan, having spent time seeing the show and overseeing what’s going on, said she thinks the show can be important and eye-opening to younger audiences, who otherwise might not care to think about aging while in their youth, according to Magan.
“It’s a celebration of the process of aging…the one thing everybody in the world has in common,” Magan said. “You know we might come from different cultural backgrounds, we might come from different racial backgrounds, different economic backgrounds, we might be in different political parties or have different careers, but we’re all getting older.”
This joint production comes with sentiment to the 20 year tenure of the Center for Aging & Community and UIndy, so the excitement behind maintaining this program is felt by everyone involved, according to Magan. Going forward, there will be times when the Fonseca Theatre Company and UIndy work together as well, and Schwartz and Magan said they want people to feel free to join and know what to expect if one is interested.
“Just keep an eye out and reach out if this is something you would like to learn more about, because really our mission has to do with diversity as a whole,” Schwartz said. “It includes racial diversity, gender diversity and includes diversity of abilities, diversity of backgrounds, socio-economics, the all-intersectional approach to it.”
One goal to be accomplished with “Forever Sung” and the Center for Aging & Community is the transformation of perspective when it comes to aging, according to Magan. She said it is an important thing for young people to educate themselves on aging so that they welcome it when it comes and so they can help older people out along the way.