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A Happy Accident: Lasell’s First Intergenerational Play

January 26, 2018

Children from Rockwell Preschool and residents from Lasell Village endeavored on the college's first-ever intergenerational play on Thursday, January 25. The joint effort culminated in a performance of Snow, based on the book by Uri Shulevitz, in the Lasell Village Ballroom.

The collaborative event came as a result of happenstance. For the past 15 years, students in the kindergarten transition class at Rockwell Preschool, part of the Holway Child Study Centers at Lasell College, have performed the play as tradition for residents of Lasell Village - but never with them. This year, lead teacher Antonietta Civetti nearly canceled the annual performance as there were not enough children in her class to fill the parts. Enter Carla Pepka, director of resident programming at Lasell Village, who suggested that Village residents could actively participate as actors in the show.

"From there, it just took off," said Civetti. "It was such a gift to have them join us and make this possible."

Civetti and Pepka organized joint rehearsals at Rockwell and the Village to coordinate the telling of the classic winter story in which a young boy becomes increasingly excited at the prospect of snow, despite input from naysayers, from the first flake through a full-city snowfall. For Pepka, the happy accident marked an opportunity for future collaboration on campus.

"This is what we need to do every time," she said. "It was good for the children to see the older adults acting silly, and it gave an injection of youth into our residents as well."

Civetti agrees wholeheartedly.

"Seeing the results was fantastic. The residents really embraced the play and put themselves into the parts," she said. "I am hoping that next year, even if we have more children to fill the roles, that we can pair up with the adults again. It was so nice for both groups to work together. It showed everyone that regardless of age, we can all work towards the same goal." 

Intergenerational Play