A theatre group in Regina set out to bring some colour and joy to long-term care residents in the city by taking performances to them this week — from a safe distance.
Sum Theatre visited three long-term care facilities in the Queen City, staging Through the Window, a 15-minute circus-like show performed in courtyards, parking lots and streets outside of care homes.
"It was wonderful and so nice to see," said Lana Seip, the recreation co-ordinator at Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home, where the theatre group gave two performances on Wednesday.
"The residents thoroughly enjoyed the performances."
With its colours and cheerful music, the show offered lots of stimulation for the residents, who watched through the windows, said Seip.
Some of them engaged with the performers by waving and pointing at them.
"It's something different and something that can be done safely in these COVID times," said Seip, adding that it boosted the morale of the residents.
Show inspired by care home residents
The actors on the other side of the window also enjoyed the afternoon performances, said Krystle Pederson, an artistic associate from Sum Theatre.
"I know this is such a touching show," she said in an interview with The Morning Edition.
The idea for Through the Window came to light during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theatre group wanted to create something for isolated long-term care residents in Saskatoon and Regina to put a smile on their faces, said Pederson.
Inspired by interviews Sum Theatre conducted with long-term care residents, the theatre group created Through the Window, which incorporates original music and puppetry to tell its story, just for people living in care homes.
"In this moment that we're facing right now, people need community and connection more than ever," said Sum Theatre artistic director Joel Bernbaum in a news release.
"There are people in our community that have had that connection completely taken away."
The group performed last Wednesday and Thursday for the residents of Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home, William Booth Special Care Home and Regina Lutheran Home, Sum Theatre said.
Pederson said she hopes the performances showed the residents that "they are not forgotten" in the community.
"I know they're probably missing … family."