It’s not just college students and young people meeting for dates online these days. Laura Levine Gumina is one example of that.
“I met somebody,” the 67-year-old Oak Park resident said. “And it was a relationship that worked because we both wanted to be happy right now.
“We couldn’t look at ‘Was this forever?’ That wasn’t relevant. There is no ‘forever’ anymore.”
That experience led Gumina to pen a one-act play detailing the struggles, challenges and successes of a demographic not typically portrayed in the online dating community: seniors.
The performance, “How Old is that Photo?” will take the stage starting this weekend at Trinity House Theatre, 38840 Six Mile, in Livonia. Shows will take place at 8 p.m. for the next two weekends: this Friday and Saturday and Dec. 8-9.
The show features six players ages 59-80 and from several area communities, including Canton, Ann Arbor, Wayne and Garden City.
Gumina said there are millions of seniors actively looking for companionship that doesn’t necessarily come with the intimacy of a romantic relationship, though admits some do look for that.
The constant between 20-somethings who date online and 60-somethings that seek a deeper connection is, Gumina said, the fear of the pain.
“Everyone is afraid of getting hurt. That’s a constant for any age on a dating site,” she said. “But you take a risk.”
The performance began rehearsing in October and continues this week before the show opens. A special “pay as you wish” preview show will take place at 7 p.m. at the theater, located between Interstate 275 and Haggerty.
Mike Morgan, an actor in the performance, said he’s not had any personal experience dating online — he’s happily married, something that happened before the Internet became what it is today — but said he’s thought about what it would take to be in his character’s shoes if that were him.
“I think it would be awfully scary to jump into that,” the Flat Rock resident said. “You want to portray yourself in good light, but you don’t want to exaggerate or lie, because that usually comes back to bite you.”
Tickets for the show are $12 for Trinity House Theatre subscribers and $15 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased online through the theater company’s website.
The performance will feature all actors portraying more equals in the show. So many times, 80-year-old actor Phillip Berns said, older people are seen in society as always being weak and not being able to fend for themselves. But, he said, there’s so much more to them, something the play explores.
“I think it’s about time a play like this got written,” the Lathrup Village resident said. “Like Laura says in the play, people don’t think about seniors except with wheelchairs and bedpans.”