About Senior Follies

Who we are

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As one of the premier senior theater performance organizations in the Southeast, Anderson Senior Follies seeks to create a dynamic theater experience for our audiences and for our cast members, all of whom are ages 55 and older.  A company of singers, dancers, actors and comedians, Senior Follies dazzles and entertains with a fresh, current script each March.

Senior Follies is unique in that every year the cast writes a new show, creates and sews hundreds of costumes, and rehearses for countless hours.  Appealing to all ages and generations, their annual production is seen by thousands of people from across the state and beyond.

In addition to the main stage performance, Senior Follies also produces a traveling show called Follies to Go. Its mission is to take the entertainment to school and church functions, community festivals, retirement and nursing homes, and cruise ships throughout the year. Learn more about Follies to Go.

Senior Follies entertainers use experiences from the prime of their lives to have the time of their lives!

Anderson Senior Follies

A brief history

The seed for Anderson Senior Follies was planted in 1989 when Dr. Mark Hopkins, then president of Anderson College, passed his Follies ideas along to Dr. David Larson, then director of Anderson College's Fine Arts Center.

Dr. Larson, joined by Annette Cantrell Martin and Marge Miller, pulled together a cast of more than 50 seniors from all walks of life and produced the first Senior Follies show, writing the script as they went along.  In the spring of 1990, the inaugural show, Meet Me at the Klondike Cafe ran for two evenings in front of an audience of 600 each night. 

It took many committed people to ensure the success of that fledgling organization, which is now in its 31st year.  Without the vision and dedication and financial support of people like Bob Klatt, Follies would never have become a reality.  

The Follies owes its success, professionalism, and stage appeal to its organizing director, Annette Cantrell Martin.  Prior to her retirement in 2019, she produced, directed, composed, and choreographed Follies for 30 years, infusing the organization with energy, creativity, and enthusiasm.  Under Annette’s tireless leadership, Senior Follies has become one of the premier senior theater performance organizations in the country.

Mary Nickles assumed the mantle from Annette in 2019, becoming only the third director in Senior Follies 31 year history.

Meet our director

MARY NICKLES

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In 2019 Mary Nickles accepted the position of director and producer of the Anderson Senior Follies.  She is a long-time South Carolina resident and moved to Anderson with her family in 2003.  She was the director of music and drama at the Montessori School of Anderson for seventeen years. At Montessori, she had the opportunity to produce and direct over 40 productions, including a High School production that was presented at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Her high school students competed four times in the One-Act competition at the South Carolina Theater Association, placing in the top five three of those times. In 2016, her production placed 2nd overall and Mary was awarded ‘best director’ for the high school division. Some of her other directorial credits include Ring of Fire and Bright Star with Mill Town Players, The Addams Family & Steel Magnolias at Market Theatre and The Boys Next Door at Electric City Playhouse. Mary has a BA in Theatre from Coker College and a MA in Theatre Production from Central Washington University. She is currently serving as Vice President of the board at Electric City Playhouse and will be teaching at Anderson University as an adjunct theater faculty member this fall.