THE VICTORIA PROJECT by Dulcinea Langfelder – Interaction of the Arts and the Healthcare Sector – Touring Canada Coast to Coast

VICTORIA by Dulcinea Langfelder will tour right across Canada in the 2017-18 season from Summerside PEI to Vancouver BC, stopping along the way in Fredericton and Saint John NB, Bic QC, North Bay ON and Medicine Hat AB. The company has already begun its collaboration with these presenters to create residency activities to be associated with the presentation of the production in their communities.

During the 2015-16 season, Dulcinea revisited contexts that might be developed for presentations of VICTORIA. Her company created, in collaboration with the six Cultural Centres (Maisons de la Culture) in the city of Montreal, THE VICTORIA PROJECT. This project included residency activities around issues of aging and Alzheimers, to support care-givers and to engage directly with the elderly and help build partnerships between two seemingly disparate worlds, the arts and the health sectors.

The audience being targeted, the elderly, professional and family caregivers as well as other players who influence healthcare, is, as we know, is growing exponentially. These are people who have neither the time nor often the inkling to go see a play about the very situations with which they struggle on a daily basis. We know, however, that when these people actually see VICTORIA, the experience often changes their lives for the better. After 16 years of touring VICTORIA worldwide (Europe, Latin America, Asia and even Africa), the company has now found a way to bring this demographic to the theatre. The process begins by going to them, by directly addressing immediate needs. For example, non-verbal communication is complex and extremely important when you are dealing with people who can no longer speak, or speak rationally. The company has created workshops and seminars on (1) Improving Communication: non-verbal and para-verbal communication, (2) Corporeal Expression: reconnect with your body at any age and (3) The Making of VICTORIA: a seminar on creativity, humour and dementia.

On top of workshops and seminars they developed a model that can be replicated and adapted for day of activities, ELDERS AND CAREGIVERS DAY centred around performances of VICTORIA (an evening performance and an afternoon performance for the elderly and for students) panel discussions featuring professionals and organizations in the community and booth displays in the theatre lobby for health-related organizations in the community.

For those looking to engage in a creative way with the aging population in their community and with community centres, organizations or health care facilities in their area around issues of aging, care-giving and Alzheimers, Dulcinea Langfelder & Co. has codified the activities they developed in THE VICTORIA PROJECT so that they can offer an array of activities that can be generated around performances of VICTORIA.