Dynamic, creative, focused and fun—-all describe the path that Double Nickels Theatre Company has carved out for itself since its founding in 2006. Beginning with the active commitment of its first Chairman, Butch Hopkins, the organization has benefited from the support of an involved Board of Directors, talented volunteers, actively supportive partners and friends and, of course, seniors and veterans who have given their stories. This community has allowed us to create dramatic stage productions, publish books of stories, burn CDs and DVDs of performances that enthralled listeners and most recently create eBooks for downloading to tablets…all true stories.
Our mission of crossing generational and cultural lines to communicate broadly is being met and celebrated. With an exciting program established with the veterans living at the Armed Forces Retirement Home to our newest endeavor at the Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC), we are reaching out to include young people. They enjoy hearing and telling seniors’ stories and you can see the enthusiasm of seniors enjoying them. We call this program DN@THEARC. Broadly speaking, our participants have included participants as young as four years old playing Suzuki violin in our Cherry Blossom production, to an eleven year old narrating the story of a 75 year old, to Centenarians who described life in DC so long ago and many others. This kind of reach fosters an energy all its own. To sustain this vitality we have attracted a phenomenal team of wonderful people composed of the Greatest Generation, Boomers, Generation x, Generation Y, Millennials and a group new to me…the Homeland Security generation. This gives us an age range of participants from 95 to 9 and we all learn from one another. We have built in progression and succession by reaching across generations from day one. Our geographic spread is from East of the River to a way across Wisconsin Avenue, and spreading. A real team of Gen Xers and more are running us Boomers and other Seasoned Sages into the 21st Century with Social Media Networking.
Jasmine Smith, John Woo, Floyd Parks, Tamara Scurlock Briggs, Chase Shields, Igwe Bandele, Chloe Louvouezo, Ashley Bembry-Kaintuck, Grace Whitmire, Roslyn Johnson, just to name those most actively involved are taking the lead in walking us into a world of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, ebooks, Pinterest, dynamic websites and Apps not yet developed …sometimes not easily…but we are getting there. And this is our focus for 2013. We want to take you with us!
As the Founder, another exciting development is my own continuing growth and ability to be flexible…not always easy, either. The management of this team is a very different experience from team building in the ‘90s. Using and becoming efficient and comfortable with eManagement tools and cyber-team challenges excites me as well as frustrates me. But I am game!
I work at identifying and eliciting the best from fantastic individuals who want to stay in their lane…multitasking has a totally different meaning than what it used to mean to me. My responsibility turns daily on an ability to be creative and encourage transparency. My analytical skills serve me well but not exclusively because my right brain demands to be front and center just as well. I have to articulate the vision, design the mission, empower the talented implementers and keep the fun in the game. All the while, accept a significantly reduced expectation of face-to-face interaction…. not easy at all!
I want to enthusiastically celebrate seniors, veterans and all those who have made 2012 an outstanding year for the Double Nickels. And the Best is yet to come!!
Watch for the Double Nickels programs dedicated to Seniors Going Social in 2013. Starting January we will enhance our reminiscence theatre by employing all the social media tools at our disposal.
Do you have a story, an idea or a suggestion for Double Nickels to consider? Let us hear from you. Join us and celebrate being or becoming a Senior Going Social.