In 1996 the members of Over-the-Hill Productions met to discuss the need to expand their numbers. Prior to this time, between 1994 and 1996, the group had done two shows, Dreamboat and Dreamboat Variety, mostly designed, written and directed by Herbert Johnson. Herbert Johnson (chair) suggested that the group could include people from the Kitchener Centres, if the Centre administration agreed. The Victoria School Centre was considered the most suitable location for the new group, and Herbert was asked to contact Jodi Murray, the Centre’s Program Supervisor. Bob Kemp (Waterloo Recreation and Leisure) agreed to work with Jodi Murray to draft a set of by-laws, based on statements generated by a committee of Over-the-Hill Productions that included our original Silver Stars: Herbert Johnson, George and Dorothy Hill, Keith and Betty Pauli and Jim Stone.

In the spring of 1997, we called a general meeting of all former members of Over-the-Hill, plus some new people, to ratify the by-laws and to make plans for the future. We agreed to call the new group KW Silver Stars. In a general election, Herbert Johnson was made chairperson, with a ten member board of directors. In the years since, KW Silver Stars has expanded its numbers and its mandate. KW Silver Stars’ shows have grown larger and more complex. They include:

Together in Vaudeville – 1997 (devised by Herbert Johnson) 404 Wing

Swinging Seniors Symphony – 1998 (devised by Herbert Johnson) 404 Wing

Those were the Years – 1999 (devised by Herbert Johnson) 404 Wing

Lest We Forget – 1999 (developed by improvisation with Peter Mansell) polished by Enid Maize 404 Wing

Dinner Theatre Show – 2000 (collaboration – directed by Enid Maize) 404 Wing

The Big Broadcast of 1943 – 2001 (written and directed by Ron Eagle and Gary Amos) Registry Theatre

Waiting for Heaven – 2003 (written and directed by Peter Mansell) Registry Theatre

Just Ordinary People – 2004 (written and directed by Ron Eagle) Waterloo Stage Theatre

Country Cabaret – 2005 (written and directed by Heather Morris) Victoria School Centre

Reunion at Waterbridge High – 2005 (by Doug Stewart, directed by Roman Dubinski)

That Kitchen Show – 2006 (written and directed by Heather Morris) Adult Recreation Centre

The Silver Whistle – 2006 (written by Robert E. McEnrow, directed by Roman Dubinski) St. Jacob’s Country Theatre

The Attic Show – 2007 (written by Heather Morris and Peter Mansell) Albert McCormick Community Room

Silver Stars Shine – 2007 (written / directed by Heather Morris) St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse

Canadian Eh? – 2008 (produced / directed by Heather Morris) Kitchener Downtown Community Centre

A Bag Full of Miracles – 2008 (written by Tom Northam) St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse

Playing the Palace – 2009 (written by June Walker Rogers) St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse

The Button Box – 2009 (written by Heather Morris, directed by Bill Klos) Victoria Park Pavilion

The Country Caravan Show – 2010 (written / directed by Heather Morris) Nursing Retirement Residences

Ladies at Lunch – 2010 (written / directed by Ron Eagle) Downtown Community Centre

The Silver Stars Shine On – 2011 (directed by Heather Morris) St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse

Hats Off To the Silver Stars – 2012 (devised/directed by Heather Morris) Tour

Waiting for Father Anthony – 2012 (written / directed by Peter Mansell) Woolwich Community Centre

Being Single – 2013 (devised/directed by Peter Mansell / Heather Morris) Tour

Edwardian Entertainment – 2013 (written/directed by Peter Mansell, Music direction by Heather Morris) Waterloo Region Museum

On The Sunny Side – 2014 (devised/directed by Peter Mansell, Heather Morris) Tour

One Step Forward – 2014 (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Woolwich Community Centre

Memories are Made of This – 2015 (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Tour

Waiting in the Wings – 2015 (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Woolwich Community Centre

The Happy Show – 2015 (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Tour

The Golden Age of Song – 2015 (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris, Choreography: Ene Billings) Waterloo Regional Museum

Love and Marriage – 2015 (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Tour

Did I Tell You This Before – 2017 (written / directed by Brenda Schneider Music direction by Heather Morris) St Jacobs Country Playhouse. $10,000 donation to the Alzheimer Society Waterloo Region.

Show Stoppers – 2018 – (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Spring tour (AGM May 10)

Show Stoppers – 2019 – (written / directed by Peter Mansell, Musical Direction: Heather Morris) Tour of nursing and retirement homes…

Show Stoppers – 2020 – cancelled – Covid – Covid shut down all meetings and any venues where we could perform.(KWSS produced a home made video of our show which we distributed to our regular touring clients.

Show Stoppers – 2021 – cancelled – Covid  (KWSS produced a more professional video of our new show, which we offered for a fee. None of our regulars purchased it after last year’s free show.)

Show Stoppers – 2022 – cancelled – Covid (A few members dropped off the Executive. We moved to a Membership drive with a new poster)

Show Stoppers – 2023 – cancelled – Covid still affecting the nursing and retirement home bookings. Plans began for a 2024 Spring show.

Show Stoppers – 2024 –  

In 2001, a branch of KW Silver Stars called Harmony Interactive Theatre was formed by Herbert Johnson to respond to a request by Arlene Groh of the Community Care Access Centre. She formed partnerships with Restorative Justice groups and several agencies, and secured a Trillium Foundation grant to develop the work of this company. This small group, using scripts written by Herbert Johnson and Peter Mansell directed by Peter, have performed at conferences, schools and community centres across the Waterloo Region using drama and mime to expose aspects of Elder Abuse in our community. Harmony Interage Theatre members have attended Elder Abuse conferences as learners as well as delegates and have participated in Restorative Justice Healing circles in role as characters in Elder Abuse situations. This outgrowth group of Silver Stars creates their own scripts and mime scenarios from real case descriptions, fashioning them into powerful performances that elicit discussion and, hopefully, social change. In the summer of 2003, they used their funding to produce a film which is used at Elder Abuse and Restorative Justice presentations everywhere. In recent years, Harmony Interactive Theatre has done projects in Multicultural settings and with the Cambridge Homeless Shelter. In 2023, the needs of the Elder Abuse (Seniors Services) groups changed to where HIT was not needed much. The group folded for the time being.


President:      Peter Mansell

Vice President:     Kathryn Heft


Membership:    Sue Frid

Treasurer:         Jerry Fischer

Social:       Kathryn Heft

Member-at-Large :       Barry Heft

Member-at-Large:        Susie Mitchell

Member-at-Large:        Mary Ducklow

City of Waterloo Staff Liaison

City of Kitchener Staff Liaison