If you were to have met Alice Roye before September of 2014, when she made her move to Glenaire, you would have never thought that months later she would be putting on theatrical productions right on campus.
Coming from a more scientific background, Alice graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing with her Bachelors of Science in 1961 and went on to receive her Masters in Adult Education from Appalachian State University later. She used her expertise to teach public speaking and the fundamentals of nursing at Western Piedmont, Blue Ridge Tech, Wake Tech, and even UNCC.
“I really enjoyed it. Back then, most of my students were women who were motivated to learn,” she said. “I was able to get close to them, know their families, and see their different walks of life coming together for a common goal.”
When she retired at 65, she decided to be closer to her daughter who lives in Pittsboro.
“We would drive by Glenaire on our way to church every Sunday,” she said. “It was the place I knew I wanted to one day retire.”
These days, Alice is known as the Glenaire playwright, though she would call herself a play adapter.
“I take books, movies, and other things and adapt them to my population,” she said. “It can be fun and challenging.”
Her troupe has put on a play based on a Dr. Seuss story, A Prairie Home Companion style skit program, Music Man, and has even put on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, originally a children’s book in which, “Our grandparents were playing children younger than some of their grandchildren,” she said and laughed.
“We have a great time with it.”
Most of Alice’s cast has not acted since high school, and she has never done anything like this before.
“I don’t even remember how it was started,” she admits. “I did high school operettas and helped with publicity at a local Little Theater Company but nothing like this. I don’t think anything like this has happened at Glenaire before.”
As the director of the programs, Alice received pointers from teachers and other resident thespians on how to run the plays. She’s also relied a lot on simply learning as she goes.
“When we started, I would get an idea, pull music for it, write the show keeping in mind the limitations, cast for everyone, and be there to ensure everything ran smoothly. Now, I have scene leaders who are responsible for their scenes.”
As they have grown to now over 25 participants, their cast and crew added new lighting, special effects, and sets, most of which the residents make themselves.
“We have the perfect storm,” she continued. “Right now, we have a lot of talent. We have an excellent carpenter, an audio and video team, a pianist, and a painter for the scenery.”
Each play takes about five to six months of preparation before they put on two shows for residents, friends, and family.
The latest production was an original piece Alice wrote that included all lip syncing, some choreography, and lots of laughs and was put on in September.
“I think we’re going to keep putting these on as long as there are people who enjoy them and want to participate,” she said.
Thank you for starting a wonderful new resident-lead tradition at Glenaire, Mrs. Roye!