Theaters know something about second acts. The Palace Theater in Waterbury is giving the stage to Connecticut residents who have created second acts in their own lives.
The inaugural Second Acts series starts this fall in the theater’s intimate 100-seat upstairs Poli Club space. Some of the presentations in the series include music and performance elements, but most take the form of personal tales of later-in-life change that others may be inspired by. The speakers range in age from mid-50s to late 70s.
“We were looking for people who were able to give a strong presentation,” says Marcucci, the Palace’s marketing and public relations officer. “So it was natural that some of them would be entertainers. Still, this is offbeat. It’s different from what we usually do.”
“We live in a time that supports trying new things,” says Marcucci, who created the series. “People are saying ‘I have a lot to offer; there’s a lot I still want to do’.”
Marcucci was inspired to create the Second Act series when she attended an event at the nearby Mattatuck Museum.
First up — at 6 p.m. on Sept. 7 — is Tom “The Suit” Forst, a retired sales executive who has forged a new career as a blues guitarist. Forst, who released his first solo album in 2016, is bringing members of his band to assist in his presentation.
Then there’s Garrison Leykam, who left a full-time gig as a record producer and singer and songwriter to become certified as a career coach. Leykam, who’s also been a stand-up comedian and a radio talk show host, will do his Second Act talk March 26 at 6 p.m.
James Mapes is a motivational speaker. (Courtesy of James Mapes)
The other speakers will be businessman-turned-mystery novelist Martin Herman at 6 p.m. on Oct. 23; sleep coach Brooke Packard at 6 p.m. Dec. 4; author and genealogist Eric Lanzieri at noon on Feb. 23, 2019; hypnotist James Mapes with his motivational talk “Imagine That!” at 6 p.m. April 23; former Wall Street lawyer Jeff Savage — now an actor who had a small role in the recent film “Chappaquiddick” — on May 7 at 6 p.m.; and integrative health coach Aingeal McLaughlin Murray at 6 p.m. June 25.
Second Act runs monthly from September through June. Tickets are now on sale; admission to each presentation is $25. A Choice Package of any five in the series is $100 and a full-series pass to see all nine presentations is $180. A cash bar will be open in the Poli Club. 203-346-2000 and palacetheaterct.org.