Transcendence Theatre Company - August 2017


STARS OFF STAGE Smallest Hands on Deck Through these recent studies, we’re starting to put together a better picture of how we can The marketplace is flooded with supplements claiming to boost brainpower, increase cognition, and reduce the effects of aging on your thinking machine. The reality is, boosting your brainpower is actually much easier than that — and you don’t have to put any potentially harmful substances in your body to reap the rewards! How we live can have a huge impact on the way our brain ages, performs cognitive functions, and remembers things. A 2014 study published by the University of Tübingen found that brain function may slow down as we age, but certain cognitive skills and abilities don’t automatically follow suit. Essentially, the brain has the ability to remain sharp — under the right circumstances. What are those circumstances? That answer comes from another study published in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. The study found aerobic exercise may be the best way to boost brainpower and cognitive function. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardiovascular exercise, includes walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, and so on.

get the most out of our cognitive abilities and memory as we age. One group of researchers with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School identified a molecule released into the bloodstream during aerobic exercise that boosts cognition over time — and may hinder neural degeneration. The Psychonomic Bulletin & Review study also noted that those who performed aerobic exercises had higher cognitive function over those who didn’t. Participants were able to perform better when it came to task switching, selective attention, and even working memory capacity — and this was across a variety of age groups, from children to older adults, and people who were already considered healthy. In older people, the effect of aerobic exercise may even reduce symptoms related to many neurological disorders, from depression to dementia. The study also found that cognitive functions tied to implicit memory (functions that occur without conscious awareness, such as riding a bike, brushing your teeth, driving a car, or other familiar or repetitive tasks) were markedly better in older people who kept up a regimen of aerobic activity — though improvements were found in all age groups.

We recently caught up with Q. Smith, an audience favorite at Broadway Under the Stars and three-year Transcendence performer. Currently, she’s performing in the Tony- winning Broadway show “Come From Away,” which tells the true story of when the isolated community of Gander, Newfoundland, played host to 38 diverted planes carrying thousands of passengers on 9/11. This is her first original production. Q. Smith says, “This is an actor’s dream! To originate a role on Broadway is something that can’t really be put into words.” She had the opportunity to perform “Come From Away” at the Tony Awards, which is a notoriously exhausting week in the Broadway community. She was slammed with early mornings and rehearsals on top of her eight shows a week, but she was in it to win it. “This is an actor’s dream! To originate a role on Broadway is something that can’t really be put into words.” BACKS Q. SMITH PRODUCTIO

Every summer, over 360 Transcendence volunteers help ensure the season runs smoothly. Each night, you might find 40 different volunteers helping with everything, from security and box office to serving drinks or assisting with parking. No help is too small, as our youngest volunteer, Caleb Pearson, can attest. Self-proclaimed “littlest volunteer in the company,” Caleb, age 7, has volunteered at Transcendence for almost three years. Caleb joined his mother, Rebekah, when she first volunteered, and he was delighted to help out. After Rebekah stepped into the role of marketing coordinator and became a full-time staff member, Caleb was determined to continue his volunteer work. “I like helping at the company,” says Caleb, who can often be found in the box office, assisting with check-in or back stage during intermission. If you attended this year’s Fantastical Family Night you saw Caleb performing onstage in a featured role. In addition to being a student, Caleb views volunteering with Transcendence at Jack London State Historic Park as his second job. Even now, Caleb can see himself being with Transcendence for years to come.

“I want to keep volunteering this summer,” he explains. “And next year! And every year until I become a staff member like my mom!”

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