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Traditionally, theatre is not designed with the needs of seniors and children in mind.

Old School performances render the arts accessible in content and format. Performances are designed to take place in a variety of spaces to reach audiences and participants who may not have the means to attend theatre performances in large venues. 

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What is By the Sea?

This is not a traditional musical experience! Audience members will be invited to participate in the action and explore sensory aspects related to the subject of living by the ocean, through touch, scent, sight, and rich musical sound. The show was created for people living with dementia and their carers. It has limited language, and doesn't follow a linear plot, which means that it is more accessible for folks to engage with and enjoy. 


The show was written by Claire Rouleau and Erin Winsor inspired by stories from seniors in St. John’s, NL. The show features music recorded by Jodee Richardson, Andrew Dale (of The Once), and Dave Rowe, as well as throat singing by Ashley Dicker and Tabitha Blake. June 2024 it will be performed by Kara Noftle and Michelle Carew. The show is approx. 45 minutes in duration.  

Who is this show for?

  • for people living with dementia (and their carers/loved ones)

  • young people and families

  • everyone!

What are the benefits of this show?

Benefits: Participatory arts experiences provide sensory and cognitive stimulation, opportunity for expression, and shared enjoyment of an experience with loved ones. "The stimulation of cognitive functions such as memory, attention, problem-solving, and creativity can help slow down cognitive decline and maintain cognitive abilities for a longer period" (Simi Ghuman- Radfield Care UK).

What are people saying about the show?

"This show is just what my partner (living with dementia) needs - it makes him feel included and he and I can just enjoy."        - Audience member

"There were residents at the show who usually barely lift their heads, who watched the whole time!"       - Recreation Director

"Those were the biggest smiles I've seen since I started working here three months ago!" 

    - Staff, Retirement Home


Grandpals is a play with music, written by Claire Rouleau and Erin Winsor to honour intergenerational friendships. It is based on a true story of how two individuals of different generations developed a friendship, initially based on music but to their surprise realized they had lots to talk about and to learn from one another. With top hit music from the past, Grandpals will show you a friendship like you've never seen before.

Grandpals comes with an optional pre or post-workshop with audience members to explore themes of the show with an Old School facilitator as well as a meet and greet with the cast after the show.

*Check back for updates on when Grandpals will be available.

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