Press Release


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Nancy Helman Shneiderman as 'Dottie'
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Nancy Helman Shneiderman
as "Dottie"
Photo Credit: Kent Taylor Photography

Sex Tapes for Seniors

A World Premiere Musical
Book and Lyrics by Mario Cossa.
Music by Tyler Flanders. Musical Director: Scrumbly Koldewyn.

Victoria Theatre • 2961 16th St @ Capp • San Francisco • (16th & Mission BART)
August 5 – 22, 2010 (Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm; Sundays @ 2pm)

San Francisco, CA… With a cast of characters between the ages of 52 and 75, the original musical, Sex Tapes for Seniors is topical, funny, and poignant as a diverse group of retirees produces educational sex videos for seniors despite protests by both their adult children as well as members of their new age retirement community, Shambhala Springs. Approaching 60 at the time of writing Sex Tapes for Seniors, playwright Mario Cossa, was very aware of how few roles exist in musical theater for older performers so he set out to do something about that. The show provides older musical theater performers with a rare opportunity to play principal and featured roles in a full-scale, musical production. The show is highlighted by creative, unusual musical numbers featuring a variety of styles ranging from Tango to Jitterbug and Soft Shoe to Rap.

Despite the title, Sex Tapes for Seniors, the show is not just about sex; it’s about relationships, how personal and social roles change as one gets older, and finding passion and excitement in life at a time when one is often face-to-face with one’s own mortality. Sex Tapes for Seniors is equally about dealing frankly with issues of claiming the right to sexual vitality after retirement as well as redefining relationships, exploring new social and interpersonal roles, and rediscovering passion while coming face-to-face with mortality. The principal characters (heterosexual, lesbian, and gay couples, and a once-widowed/twice-divorced straight woman) struggle to overcome internal and external obstacles while working together on the instructional sex videos project that gives each of them a new perspective on themselves and their relationships.

Sex Tapes for Seniors makes a strong statement about how common issues of aging and feelings of love, passion, and commitment transcend gender and sexual orientation. The appeal of the show extends far beyond a senior audience. When the play ran in New Hampshire in 2006, one audience member in his ‘30s, commented that the play gave him new insights into his parents’ lives and issues. Teens in the audience loved it because they thought was so funny.

L to R: Charmaine Hitchcox as 'Deb', Rebecca Mills as 'Gert', Nancy Helman
Shneiderman as 'Dottie'
Download hi-res version
L to R: Charmaine Hitchcox as "Deb",
Rebecca Mills as "Gert",
Nancy Helman Shneiderman as "Dottie"
Photo Credit: Kent Taylor Photography


Sex Tapes for Seniors show was inspired by a quip over coffee in 2005 and written in a first draft form by Mario Cossa during his travels around the world (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and England). What started as a romp around senior sexuality, developed into a piece that also focused on relationships, changing roles, and facing mortality. It was presented as a staged reading at the MoCo Arts Center in Keene, NH, in 2006. Since that time it has undergone a number of revisions, complete re-scoring and will be presented for the first time as a full production this August.


Mario Cossa’s involvement in musical theater began at the age of four when he started studying tap dancing. At about age 10, he started writing plays and directing the neighborhood kids in back porch productions (a la Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland). He gained experience as a playwright and director through original environmental theater projects with the Phoenix Nest Earth Arts Center in New Hampshire and children’s and youth theater with the Children’s Performing Arts Center and ACTINGOUT in Keene, NH. His directing credits range from classics including Death of a Salesman to more contemporary fare like Jake’s Women. His musical theater directing and choreography include Jacques Brel, Annie, Pippin, Oliver, and Dames at Sea. As a choreographer, he has tackled large dance shows like No! No! Nannette, Cabaret, Kiss Me Kate, and Babes in Arms as well as more movement-focused shows like Into the Woods, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and 1776. In 2009, Mario moved to the Bay Area to pursue his dream of mounting the world premiere production of Sex Tapes for Seniors. As an actor/singer/dancer of the Baby Boomer generation, he is excited to have created a musical in which his contemporaries could be featured.

Cast Bios


WHAT:Sex Tapes for Seniors - A World Premiere Musical
WHEN:August 5* – 22, 2010
(Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm; Sundays @ 2pm)
*Preview: Thursday, August 5 @ 8pm
**Opening Night: Friday August 6 @ 8pm (includes wine and cheese reception)
WHERE:Victoria Theatre • 2961 16th St @ Capp • (16th & Mission BART), San Francisco
TICKETS:Tix: $20-$40
Preview: Thursday, August 5 @ 8pm: $20 (No discounts)
Fridays & Saturdays: $40 (Seniors $35)
Sundays: $30 (Seniors $25)

No one under 13 years old will be admitted.

Photo Credit: Kent Taylor Photography