Unleash Elderly’s Acting Talent

27 April 2021
In the Inspirational Drama Programme for Elderly, both Olive and Uncle Mok pursue professional acting skills and they find the new meaning in retired life.

“Grocery shopping, cooking and general housekeeping work has filled my repetitive daily life. Sometimes, I couldn’t even remember what day of the week it was.” More than a year ago, Olive Chan felt rudderless and disconnected. But now it's different.

In 2019, Olive took the advice of some old friends from her amateur theatre days and joined the Inspirational Drama Programme for Elderly founded by Arts’ Options, which provides professional stage training for seniors aged 55 and above to help them tap into their creativity. Her schedule is now packed with drama rehearsals three days a week, giving her more energy than ever.

Rekindling the theatre dream

Olive, 55, had been a full-time housewife for more than a decade, having put her passion for theatre aside for the sake taking care of her family. Back in her early twenties, she had once lived and breathed acting as a member of an amateur theatre troupe. “I used to rehearse all night, and my mother complained that she had ‘lost’ her daughter to theatre.” Olive recalls. “But when I became a mother, I had to put my acting dream behind me for the time being, although I still made time to watch one play a year.”

Olive performed in the theatre

Today, her daughter has grown up and Olive has more time to herself. After more than a year’s drama training with the Inspirational Drama Programme for Elderly, Olive was selected as a member of the touring team to perform in the community. In the dramedy The Final Escape, Olive plays Siu Ha, a sweet talker who covets her father’s wealth.

“Link Together Initiatives funds this programme and provides performance venues in Link’s malls.” explains Olive. “I have performed in Lok Fu Plaza and Wo Che Plaza. My most memorable experience so far was when an elderly woman playfully scolded me after one of my shows, saying ‘You are not a good daughter,’ before praising me with a smile and noting that I had acted very well. It makes me happy to bring others entertainment and happiness, and I also feel reconnected with society."

Some people may feel uneasy to come to terms with life after retirement. “Like many of my peers, I’m afraid of becoming physically weak, but we must accept ageing and learn to live a wonderful life.” she says. “For example, as a senior it helps to be open-minded and to embrace new things, especially in order to communicate with young people. This is a key to happiness.”

Pursuing professional performances at 85 years old

Uncle Mok joined the Inspirational Drama Programme

While Olive has just started her senior citizen journey, 85-year-old Mok Chik-kan has been on this track for over 20 years and has truly demonstrated that one is never too old to learn.

Uncle Mok, who lives alone, became widowed 17 years ago. With help from social workers, he successfully battled depression and began participating in various activities, including doing volunteer work, learning how to sing and dance, teaching classes in community centres, and performing in advertisements and short films. However, he was eager for more. One day, Uncle Mok learned about the Inspirational Drama Programme for Elderly, which is led by the well-known and experienced stage artist Brenda Chan. He believed he had finally found a way to take the next step towards becoming a professional actor instead of just being an amateur.

“When I first started, one of the most difficult trainings was voice training, which combines Cantonese vowels, body movements and facial expressions.” he says. “It was interesting to learn many new terms for each of the facial muscles!” Despite suffering from arthritis and frozen shoulder, Uncle Mok insisted on practising every day. His persistence paid off, as he was later selected for a singing role in the theatre version of The Final Escape. “This programme is unique, since the teachers will not lower their standards simply because you are old. This pushes me to keep improving.”

Uncle Mok’s open-mindedness comes from his life experience. Born in Hong Kong, he was originally a liberal arts teacher in Mainland China. However, when he decided to return to Hong Kong in 1990, his mainland educational qualifications were not recognised in Hong Kong. To make a living, he worked as an office assistant. Throughout his life, his resourcefulness has guided him through the ups and downs, and he relies on the wisdom in Sun Yat-sen’s famous saying – “adapt to the trends of the world; cater for the needs of people” – to keep moving ahead.

“For example, technology advances rapidly, so you must stay up to date with the latest advances to keep yourself less dependent on others.” he says. “Especially given Hong Kong’s ageing problem, I hope I can convey the positive message of self-reliance of the elderly with my role in the play and bring a positive impact to society.”

Aiming to establish the first elderly acting troupe in Hong Kong

The elderly took photo after the show

Since October 2019, the three-year Inspirational Drama Programme for Elderly, which is being funded by Link Together Initiatives, has attracted around 180 participants to its experiential workshops. While the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the activities of many organisations, Arts’ Options has proven its agility and resilience by moving all in-person training classes online, helping seniors who were once unfamiliar with computer technology to overcome any technical difficulties. According to a recent survey by Arts’ Options, upon completing 100 hours of drama training, most participants noted a big difference, including improved self-esteem, interpersonal skills, memory and creativity.

The troupe’s first theatre performance, The Final Escape, was originally scheduled for December 2020. Although it was cancelled due to the pandemic, participants were committed to performing the show and insisted on recording the performance online. The programme is now recruiting new elderly participants to join, while the students from the first year are now progressing to their second year of professional training with more advanced subjects such as troupe management and TV performances. The programme aims to establish the first professional elderly acting troupe in Hong Kong.

Professional elderly acting troupe

Introduction: The Final Escape

Performance Video: https://youtu.be/AgN3pdNLqSA

Can money buy loyalty?

Boss Lee, once powerful and dominant in the business world, ended up living in home for the aged without anyone visiting him! Lee met fellow elderly residents from all walks of life there, including some who had been ignored by their children and others who had been cut off from their family. All the residents of the home decided they no longer wanted to stay, and together they planned their daring escape!

Do Boss Lee and his fellow residents long for an escape from the elderly home, or from something else? Can a tragedy turn out to be a comedy? The answers are to be found in this local production, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear.

Screenwriter: Ada Chan
Director: Brenda Chan
Producer/Deputy Director: Rebecca Po

Subscribe Now

Receive updates in Messenger

By subscribing, you agree to receive marketing materials as set out in the Personal Information Collection Statement .

Feedback

Subscribe to latest Channel 823 stories to your inbox

×

Personal Information Collection Statement

This Statement is made by Link Asset Management Limited ("Link Asset Management") as manager of Link REIT and Link Properties Limited (collectively "Link", “we”, "our" or "us"), in accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) of the Laws of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ('the PDPO'). This Statement intends to notify you why your personal data is collected, how it will be used, to whom the personal data will be transferred and to whom data access requests are to be addressed.

Types of Personal Data Held

We hold four broad categories of personal data, namely customers' and tenants' personal data, business associates' personal data, employment-related personal data, website and social media users' personal data.

Collection - Why We Collect Your Data

From time to time, we may collect your personal data to provide our services to you and in an effort to improve your customer experience. You are not obliged to provide your personal data to us but if you do not, we may not be able to provide you with some of the information, materials, services and/or products of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited.

Provision of personal data (i.e. email address or similar personal data) to us is obligatory should you subscribe to “Channel 823” or any contents thereto.

If you are under the age of 18, you must ask your parent or guardian before providing any personal data to us.

Use - How Your Data May Be Used

The personal data you registered for subscribing to "Channel 823" (whether through our websites or through social media platforms) will be used for:

  1. disseminate the latest news and activities related to Link’s portfolios, latest development of Link, including but not limited to “Channel 823” or contents thereto;
  2. to provide information of events in relation to corporate social responsibility programs of Link such as (without limitation) Link Together Initiatives and similar sustainability/community engagement/charity initiatives organised or co-organised by Link at Link’s premises or on Link’s website or social media platforms;
  3. for handling enquiries and feedbacks for better services to you, tenants and shoppers who patronize Link premises or uses Link’s website or social media platforms;
  4. to provide services, activities or experiences under at Link’s premises or Link’s website / social media platforms and gauge popularity of the same
  5. for internal statistical and analysis purposes;
  6. transfer to the necessary parties identified in this PICS;
  7. making disclosure so required by law, regulation or court order of any jurisdiction and / or so request by any government, regulatory or law enforcement authority or administrative organization within or outside Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
  8. for establishing legal claims or defences; and
  9. obtain legal advices and /or exercising, defending and / or protecting the rights or properties of Link, Link’s affiliates and contractors, agents and third party service providers including identifying, contracting or bringing legal actions against any persons who may be interfering with such rights or properties (whether intentionally or otherwise) and where any other third party may be harmed or property of any third party may be damaged by such interference

Use of Personal Data in Direct Marketing

We would like to use your email address or social media messengers for sending you "Channel 823" information or part thereof from time to time by way of direct marketing.

If you object to our use of your personal data for the relevant purposes as listed above, you can, at any time without charge, inform us via the “unsubscribe” function available in the emails or social media messengers of “Channel 823” updates or send an email to channel823@e.linkreit.com.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Personal data held by us will be kept confidential, but we may disclose/transfer such data to the following parties (whether within or outside the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) for the purposes set out in this Statement:

  1. the entities comprising all the special purpose vehicles of Link REIT and the subsidiaries of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited in connection with the operation of our business and activities at Link premises / "Channel 823" or contents thereto;
  2. professional advisors, service providers or contractors of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited providing property management services, letting, licensing, social media services at Link premises / "Channel 823" or contents thereto;
  3. any agent, contractor or third party service provider who provides administrative, telecommunications, computer, payment, content, information or other marketing and promotional services to us in connection with the operation of our business and activities at or in relation to Link premises / "Channel 823" or contents thereto;
  4. any person under a duty of confidentiality to us or who has undertaken to keep your personal data confidential and use them in strict compliance with the requirements of the PDPO;
  5. any government, law enforcement authorities and administrative organisations and any person to whom we are under an obligation under law to make disclosure.

Security

We strive at all times to ensure that your personal data will be protected against unauthorized or accidental access, processing, erasure or other use. We have implemented appropriate physical, electronic and managerial measures to safeguard and secure your personal data.

Your personal data will be kept in the office of Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited or by the service providers engaged by Link Asset Management and/or Link Properties Limited and is accessible only to our authorized employees and service providers.

Retention of Data

We will keep your personal data for a reasonable time to fulfill the purpose for which the data was collected or comply with the relevant rules, regulations and laws of Hong Kong. Personal data which is no longer required will be destroyed.

Data Access/Correction Requests

Under the PDPO. any individual has the right to request access to and correction of his or her personal data held by us. In accordance with the terms of the PDPO, Link Asset Management or Link Properties Limited has the right to charge a reasonable fee for the processing of request.

If you wish to access or correct your personal data in relations to "Channel 823" subscription held by us, please send your request to: channel823@e.linkreit.com.

Please read the below terms if you provide your personal data for the use of our services in Mainland China.

Cross-border data transfer
Since "Channel 823" is published by Link Asset Management in Hong Kong, transfer of your personal data to Hong Kong is necessary for us to send you "Channel 823" information or part thereof. During such cross-border data transfer and storage, we are committed to protecting the security of your personal data. If you object to our cross-border transfer of your personal data, we may not be able to provide you with the services for the relevant purposes listed above.

Other rights
Other than the rights to request access and correction, in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, you will also have the rights to copy, supplement and deletion of your personal data held by us.

To Change the scope of consent
We respect your right to know and right of decision on the processing of your personal data. You can change the scope of your consent to our processing of your personal data at any time, however this might affect your use of our services. If you wish to access, copy, correct, supplement or delete your personal data in relations to "Channel 823" subscription held by us or to change the scope of your consent, please send your request to:
channel823@e.linkreit.com.

Language Versions

In case of discrepancies between the English and Chinese versions of this Statement, the English version shall apply and prevail.

NOTE: This Personal Information Collection Statement is subject to change and was last updated in July 2022.

×

© Copyright Link Asset Management Limited. All rights reserved

Linkedin Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube Weibo QR code Wechat