Young at Heart Players is dedicated to enriching the lives of senior adults through participation in theatrical activities (on and off stage) designed to enhance communication, creativity, and socialization. Our productions appeal to audiences of all ages and utilize intergenerational casting. Working together provides wonderful opportunities to dispel the myths of “ageism”. In addition to our mainstage productions, YAHP performs for groups (senior, church, businesses, etc.). Our skits address senior issues with poignancy and humor and have been well-received by audiences.

Our History

YAHP was founded by Fran Pesch in the spring of 2000. Our first year was spent on becoming acquainted with each other through socialization activities and theatre games. In June 2001, we presented our first full production, Waiting in the Wings. Without a permanent home, our performance history has been dictated by the ability to secure locations whose schedules allowed for us to come in for a weekend or two. These past fifteen years have been challenging, especially on those occasions when we performed in non-traditional venues that necessitated bringing in our lighting and sound equipment. YAHP has been blessed to have dedicated performers and crew who have journeyed with us through the years. Their friendship, trust, and adaptability have contributed greatly to our success.

Who We Are

"When we realized there were fewer parts for older people, we were not ready to stop. Then Fran stepped in and saved us by creating the Young at Heart Players. I loved it and so did the rest of our friends. It was so good to entertain other people, especially older ones. I moved to NC with my daughter, and when we returned years later, YAHP was still going strong. I’m 95 yrs old now, can’t hear well, can’t remember well, but I’ll never forget the joy of the theatre and especially Fran, who made it possible to be 'young at heart'". Dottie Wefler (founding member/actor)

“Assisting with the action and the actors of a YAHP production continues to be a rewarding experience for me. The actors are confident and experienced and their acting comfort level makes it fun and easy to help with things like costuming, reading lines, assisting with stage management, and whatever behind the scenes job needs to be done. As a member of a YAHP multi-age audience I have frequently felt that the company productions, which present a senior point of view, have helped me and others in the audience to learn about life situations and problems that apply to anyone regardless of age. YAHP continues to contribute to the Dayton theatre scene by offering plays that provide opportunities to see senior actors at their best while entertaining and helping everyone to understand that much of the human experience is shared by all ages.” Sandy Lemming (member of the YAHP Board)

“I really enjoy working with YAH Players because they are focused on plays for and about more mature people and there isn't a lot presented especially locally that include that segment of the population. Also, because many of the people involved are retired or otherwise available the rehearsal schedule can be more relaxed and not restricted to mostly evening weekday times.” Gayle Smith (actor)

Production History

Waiting in the Wings - June 2001 (Dayton Playhouse)
Driving Miss Daisy - November 2001 (Patterson Homestead)
Driving Miss Daisy - October 2002 (Dayton Theatre Guild)
You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running - November 2003 (Dayton Theatre Guild)
The Last of the Thorntons - April 2004 (Dayton Playhouse)
Just the Sweet Stuff - October 2004 (Engineer’s Club)
Eight-Two - June 2005 (Dayton Playhouse)
Visiting Mr. Green - June 2006 (Dayton Playhouse)
The Whales of August - August 2006 (Dayton Playhouse)
Driving Miss Daisy - September/October 2006 (Dayton Theatre Guild)
The Waverly Gallery - June 2007 (Dayton Playhouse)
Shades of Twilight - June 2008 (Dayton Playhouse)
The Cemetery Club - June 2009 (Dayton Theatre Guild)
The Gin Game - June 2010 (Dayton Playhouse)
Southern Comforts - June 2011 (Dayton Theatre Guild)
Love, Loss, and What I Wore - April 2013 (Dayton Theatre Guild)
Circle Mirror Transformation - June 2016 (Dayton Playhouse)
Ripcord - November 2016 (Dayton Playhouse)
First Kisses - June 2017 (Dayton Playhouse)
Tuesdays with Morrie - November 2017 (Dayton Playhouse)
Well - June 2018 (Dayton Playhouse)
Calendar Girls - November 2018 (Dayton Playhouse)
20th Century Blues - June 2019 (Actor's Theatre Fairborn)
Still Alice - November 2019 (Dayton Playhouse)
Blessings from the Pandemic - November-December 2020 (Virtual Performance)