About the Play
Braden Wright's "Old Pros" is an original two-act farce set in a talent agency for seasoned actors. In this comedy, not acting your age can be life-threatening.

The Old Pros talent agency for seasoned actors appears doomed when its founder drops into a coma and her great-nephew, Jamie, arrives to close the doors for good. The five remaining clients-the very proper Heather, ex-airforce pilot Dean, luggage salesman Bernie, part-time nurse and prosthetics expert Meredith, and the grandly-theatrical Josephine-however, leverage their own crafty counter-proposal. They soon coerce Jamie into impersonating a dead ex-client at a TV commercial shoot-one that is directed by Jamie's wife, Pamela, from whom he is currently separated. By pretending to be old, Jamie glimpses what it means to be young. Yet, trying to save the agency and Jamie's marriage may prove to be a costly move for everyone when, piece by piece, the truth is revealed. Or, at least, something like the truth.

What others are saying...
"Kaufmanesque in essence... clever, inventive and with some great twists." "Exceptionally timely." "Beautifully realized speeches for almost every character and some major laughs." "Characters that jump off the page and that you fall in love with, all in a story worth telling. I smell a hit!"

The Characters within the Ensemble of "Old Pros"
Founded by Miriam Richardson and her late husband, Elly, The Old Pros talent agency is now home base for five unlikely friends. United by a love of acting, by the ever-present promise of stardom and the family bonds they have formed, each of the clients also shares in the hope of keeping the agency going. HEATHER once danced with Miriam as a Rockette. Now divorced and alone, she still yearns for that big break and an award for her talents even as she fastidiously tends to the daily dealings of the agency and talent breakdowns. DEAN, a seemingly carefree former airforce pilot, careens along with a harmlessly lecherous bent, lucky in acting, somewhat unlucky in love. His attention is currently focussed on the brassy MEREDITH, a widow, part-time nurse, peace activist and prosthetics expert who, at 62, is the youngest client. BERNIE, a shuffling octogenarian, luggage salesman and veteran of local theatre, still longs for his chance on TV. Rounding out the "family" is the grandly-theatrical JOSEPHINE, a wondrous spirit resolutely living a charmed existence of her own creation and utterly devoted to the world of drama as a veteran of the international stage and screen.

Fumbling into their world comes Miriam's great-nephew, JAMIE, a former child star whose recent failure of his marriage and less-recent disappointments in his career have dimmed his joy and his view of life's promises. His TV-director wife, PAMELA, is as strong and assertive as her job and her crumbling marital situation demand, despite regrets about the light and love she once shared with Jamie.

Complicating their current situation and chances at reconciliation is DAVIS, the brazen and unabashedly hedonistic ad agency man with a schedule to meet and a bounty of pleasures to taste along the way. If only MIRIAM hadn't just fallen into a coma, perhaps there would be hope for them. And yet, maybe the Old Pros office still has some of Miriam's spirit in it after all.

Why I wrote "Old Pros"
I love the British farces of the 20s and 30s. Seeing "Rookery Nook" or "Thark" or "One For the Pot" at The Shaw Festival was a highlight of my summers as a teenager. I wrote "Old Pros" with that kind of energy and pacing in mind.

My foremost goal throughout the process, was, quite simply and emphatically, to entertain. I wrote it to offer a fun and joyous evening where people could escape and laugh.

This play is a tribute to my grandmother-a great lady who celebrates her 100th birthday in October-who, to me, has always seemed "old" and yet vital and alive at every age. The play also commemorates the men and women who sang in the choir at my father's church, the ones who lifted our house with such laughter when they came for parties. And it's a cathartic antidote for my own feelings about age-when I was five, I pronounced to my parents that I'd had no childhood-and for the struggle so many people feel in making a living in the arts.

This play is set amongst an older ensemble and is a kind of ritual rite-of-passage for initiating the younger generation into the reality of the spectrum that life brings us. Theater permits us the presence and privilege to live this experience. In the midst of the characters' lives we glimpse some bittersweet perspectives about aging and it shows and affirms that we have a choice when it comes to how we perceive life and what we value.

The serious issues that each of us faces as we age, and our society and this nation as a whole, may only be touched upon within this play but they help to ground it and center it. They are a counterpoint to the laughter and the wild fun of farce. Most importantly, they provide an allegory of their own... that each of us may see ourselves in each stage of life and embrace choice-at any stage and in any circumstance-as our true inheritance. It's our choice to live, our choice to laugh, and our choice to act in our lives so that the show may go on.