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With a passion for the performing arts, and AnglicareSA’s Health and Wellness team by her side, 92-year-old Rose continues to tread the boards of the theatre stage – deconstructing ageist stereotypes in more ways than one.

Rose is likely to be the oldest performer in this year’s world-renowned Adelaide Fringe.

She has just concluded a four-show run starring alongside a cast of performers in ‘Aware’ – a theatre production shining a light on ageism.

Rose accesses a Home Care package through AnglicareSA – as well as podiatry, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy services.

“Age is just a number, I’m 92 so no different to when I was 91 but you can forget that, it’s about what’s inside and inside I’m still 21.”

Performing alongside castmates Cynthia and Lyn (in a separate rock choir), Rose says she caught the acting bug after attending a 10-week program in 2015. The program was through Vintage Creative Therapies, which uses the creative arts to help older South Australians explore life’s potential.

“There was about 12 of us, including Cynthia and Lyn, and after the 10 weeks we thought ‘gee that was fun’, so we signed up for another 10 weeks,” Rose laughs.

“Then Alan (community arts director) said we were ready to do a bit of acting – so we do a play every year. We were in the Fringe in 2018 and then (in a Fringe show) last year called Popped Off – which had just three in the cast.”

Cynthia, Rose and Lyn sit in the theatre together.
Cynthia, Rose and Lyn sit in the theatre together.

Rose says taking to the stage was invigorating for an amateur thespian like herself and gave her the chance to immerse in her creativity.

“I just love being somebody else, because actually I’m quite a reserved person, believe it or not, but when you’re on stage you become somebody else – plus you can’t see the faces (of the audience).

“The lights go down and you think ‘right we’re on’.”

Working with the allied health team at AnglicareSA in Elizabeth over the last three years has kept Rose active in body and spirit.

And, much like the theme of her Fringe show (which just wrapped at the Brighton Performing Arts Centre), she says age is just a number and not something that can define her.

“I’m out four times a week, two of those is going out to lunch mind you, and then the rock choir and then another day for acting – it keeps me young.

“AnglicareSA keeps me active, alongside going out to chat with people in the community, I just love being out and about.”

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