A group of older Wellingtonians are getting creative in drama-based programmes run by the charitable trust Voice Arts.
Director Nicola Pauling tells Jesse Mulligan why their sold-out live show String of Pearls had the working title Older Women Get Undressed Onstage.
"The actors felt like they were revealing parts of themselves and exploring their authentic self in ways they hadn't before. It felt quite exposing and vulnerable but also really empowering."
In String of Pearls, a group of women reflect on their younger selves and how their lives unfolded.
Putting on an annual live show in which a group writes an original script together and performs it onstage is a trial project for Voice Arts.
Audiences are going to have an opportunity to see a group of older women in ways they haven't before, she says.
"This is the joy of working with people who have decades of life experience - that reflective state is really powerful.
"These women have never done anything like this in their lives … this is really new for them being onstage with their own stories."
String of Pearls reflects Voice Arts' commitment to giving voice to people in the community who aren't always heard from, Pauling says.
The invitation to be "playfully performative" seems to benefit many older people, she says, and as such Voice Arts has focused on offering programmes for 'the third age' in the last seven years.
Older people, especially those with dementia enjoy the "cognitively stimulating and creative environment" which is also non-judgmental and safe.