Updated: Nov 13
By Isabel M. Castro
Dementia affects 1 in 10 people and is anticipated to rise to 1 in 5 people in 2032. Dramatizing this reality with music and comedy, The Social Issues Theatre will present the production of The Wonderful World of Was at the Windmill Library Theatre on October 26.
Set in an urban middle-class household, the play revolves around the story of Lorraine Bordeaux's untimely passing, leaving her husband, Mr. Bordeaux’s care in the hands of their self-centered daughter, and other family members and friends, all with no prior experience with dementia care. Griping emotional and comedic scenes validate and highlight the daily struggles faced by dementia caregivers while offering insights into the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). These symptoms, including agitation, aggression, depression, and hallucinations, pose significant challenges for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.
Written and produced by playwrights L.A. Walker and Marcia Norris, this groundbreaking musical dramedy is a captivating production inviting audiences to a raw, emotional experience. This heartwarming production will educate, validate, and offer hope and empathy to those dealing with the challenges of dementia. The cast is comprised of both seasoned professionals as well as actors making debut appearances, including Anthony Brady (Mr. Bordeaux), Niya Rivera (Hadleigh), Washeta Gaither (Yvette), Tyler Rhea (Tony the Handyman), David Dendy (Pastor Dendy), Garrett Pattiani (Dr. Amerie Phillips) and Anthony Vann (Understudy).
The main character, Mr. Bordeaux, portrayed by 30-year veteran actor Anthony Brady, delves into the complexities of dementia. "Mr. Bordeaux’s life is very complicated. He’s going through a normal mental deficiency process."
Brady emphasizes the need for audiences to take away the realization that they need to be patient and caring, especially to caregivers, and highlights the importance of acknowledging one's limitations. The poignant song, such as "I Can’t Remember My Name," underscore the heartbreaking reality of losing oneself to dementia.
An important aspect that sets this production is the incorporation of original music written and arranged by L.A. with Musical Director Elder Demieceo Benson and Marcia Norris. The soul-stirring melodies deliver messages of hope and encouragement that resonate with the heart. Additionally, this musical spectacle goes beyond mere entertainment, with the inclusion of The Las Vegas Mass Choir, led by James R. Smith, Director and Founder, and Victoria L. Norman.
“The Wonderful World of Was is not just a play; it's an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those affected by dementia and their caregivers. Join the movement, be part of the change, and help spread hope and empathy in your community,” says L.A.
More than just a musical dramedy, this endeavor is a movement, a passionate call to embrace the allure of the present moment, even as the past fades. Backing this project signifies reaching out to hearts, reshaping perspectives, and significantly impacting the lives of those touched by dementia.
The central theme of the performance of Dementia is a condition that affects millions of lives, causing immense emotional strain on not only those diagnosed but also their loved ones. Shocking statistics reveal that over 30% of caregivers pass away before those they are caring for, emphasizing the urgent need for awareness and support for caregivers. The Wonderful World of Was sheds light on this challenging journey, filled with heartbreak, hope, and unforgettable comedic moments.
The Social Issues Theatre, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is the driving force behind this powerful production dedicated to using the arts to raise awareness and promote understanding of pressing social issues. Through compelling theatrical productions and community engagement, The Social Issues Theatre strives to inspire positive change and empower individuals to address these issues in their communities.
For more information, contact L.A. Walker, Executive Director of Social Issues Theatre, by calling 702-518-2233, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.thesit.org. Follow on Facebook and Instagram @socialissuestheatre.
The Social Issues Theatre will present the production of The Wonderful World of Was at the Windmill Library Theatre at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 26. No reservations are required, and parking is complimentary.