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'This Was Just A Godsend': Dallas Performers Bring Joy To Isolated Seniors

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - For some senior citizens in Dallas who can't go to the theater, the theatre came to them!

That's what happened at several senior living centers in Dallas, where residents were able to enjoy a special weekly performance.

From a front patio or behind a window, seniors at Tyler Street Tower watched as their parking lot transformed into a stage.

It's a performance infused with music, history, and storytelling. It's the brainchild of the Bishop Arts Theatre Center.

"When COVID hit, of course, we all sheltered-in-place, but we were not going to abandon those seniors," said Executive Artistic Director Teresa Coleman Wash. "So we are really innovating in real-time."

Prior to the pandemic, senior citizens would go to Bishop Arts Theatre Center twice a week for storytelling circle. In April, they partnered with memory care and aging facilities to launch PatioLive.

"It means a lot to me, because there's nothing I can do except go for a walk," said resident and audience member Loretta Taylor. "It's been rough. It's been hard."

It's more than entertainment, but a kind of medicine for the soul.

Seniors enjoy the Bishop Arts Theatre Center
Seniors enjoy the Bishop Arts Theatre Center performers (CBS 11).

"This was just a Godsend to be able to come and be able to share something with them weekly. They look forward to it. We're socially distancing but also having fun," said Johnice Woods, a Tyler Street Tower administrator.

"It makes me happy. It makes me bubbly. It makes me want to cry," Taylor said.

And it's a partnership that both parties believe will long outlive COVID-19.

"It's been gratifying to see the response, and we hope to continue this partnership long after the pandemic is over," said Coleman Wash.

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