Star Harbor Senior Community Center typically produces a robust activity calendar to give its older adults numerous  opportunities for socialization and recreation.

From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. this Monday, Feb. 26 the site will offer a Black History Month play. Set to honor unsung heroes, it will come courtesy of the site’s 10-member-strong drama club.

Senior center participant Margie Williams, 84, writes all the plays for the center’s drama club, which meets bi-weekly to rehearse. All the members are volunteers and have no theater background. Past performances by the drama club members include Thanksgiving and Christmas presentations.

“Based on their other performances, I know they’re going to do a great job with this one,” said Janada Carter, who oversees the site.

“The content is going to be a surprise, though, because I heard I’m not going to become aware of the exact nature of it. That means we’re all in for a treat.”

Based in Southwest Philadelphia, the center is one of five operated by Catholic Housing and Community Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as part of its continuum of care to older adults throughout the five-county area.

Located throughout Philadelphia, the sites offer social activities, physical exercise, art classes, music, dance, meals, and direct assistance in applying for benefits.

Carter does know, though, that the handiwork will commemorate the lives of those one might not normally call to mind during Black History Month. Although she said that Star Harbor has held Black History Month events for three decades, Monday morning’s production will offer novelty in that it will unite the a dramatists with the center’s new Starlette Choir and dancers eager to show off their routines.

Janada Carter receives a quilt sewn by the center’s sewing club.

Collaborative teamwork has also been a focus at the site. The sewing club participants have been creating the costumes for the performers, with Carter having already grown ecstatic over the receipt of a quilt from them. In honor of Black History Month, the piece replicates the quilts Civil War-era slaves used among themselves to map out pathways to freedom.

“There are many truly talented, caring people who come to our center,” she said of the individuals, whose average age is approximately 75. “I’m thankful to know them and to see their creativity and enthusiasm on display.”

Carter hopes that the event combined with word-of-mouth will help to draw attention to Star Harbor and its services, which, she said, many people, relatively speaking, do not know about, despite its proximity to other faith- and community-centric Southwest Philadelphia-situated destinations, particularly St. Francis de Sales Church.

“It’s a perfect place to stay active and sharp,” she said. “Seniors can come here and feel valued, respected, and involved. With events like the Black History Month play they can also feel cultural pride.”