Seniors share the stories of their lives at Edgemar Center for the Arts

Michelle Danner

Michelle Danner

Listen to your elders, they say. In this case, it could mean a heartfelt good time.

On Saturday, the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica hosts “Defining Moment,” a unique evening of true stories told by local seniors — tales that explore a turning point that determined the course of their lives.

“It’s one of those evenings you can only see one time. That’s the power of the theater,” says artistic director Michelle Danner. “All the ups and downs of someone’s life. It’s a heartfelt experience.”

An acting coach who has worked with Gerard Butler, Zooey Deschanel, Chris Rock, Penelope Cruz and James Franco, Danner has curated similar events before, but this time around the players will integrate music or dance performances into their tales.

Danner says the stories are a natural draw because people in the audience are always incredibly moved by hearing these elders talk about the obstacles in their lives and how they overcame them.

There have also been tales of tough choices: “The actress had worked a lot. She was a bombshell and in demand, working with big stars like Barbara Streisand, but she met her husband and fell in love. She had to choose between career and love, and she chose love,” Danner recalls of a prior storyteller.

Free to attend, the event culminates in a Q+A and catered reception.

— Shanee Edwards

“Defining Moment” starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. To RSVP, call (310) 392-0815.