Virtual music theater offers older adults a way to explore themes of joy and resilience in difficult times, say two Ontario researchers. Their program, Rise, Shine, Sing!, was mostly attended by older adults, some with chronic conditions, early in 2020 before moving online via Zoom for 12 sessions from April until June 2020. Before sessions, leaders dropped off or mailed prop boxes to all participants filled with costumes including small scarves and ribbons that could be used for choreography. Participants sang, danced and created characters using the costumes and props based on cues and feedback from facilitators. They drew on musical classics, co-created their own songs, and embraced dancing from both a seated and standing position, to accommodate different mobility capabilities. Participants controlled how much they shared by deciding how visible they wanted to be on camera. Such virtual interactions, initially considered stop-gap measures early in the pandemic, may now be an important part of supporting the health and well-being of older adults.

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