NewsPinellas County


Play performed by seniors for seniors on the dangers of scammers

Phony Baloney play
Posted at 7:07 AM, Apr 12, 2023

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — There’s a new play making the rounds in Pinellas County, by seniors for seniors. The idea is to educate audiences on how to avoid being scammed.

It’s called “Phony Baloney,” and it's being presented by the non-profit organization SAGES Theater, Inc.

It depicts real-life occurrences where scammers were trying to fool seniors into giving them their money.

“What I discovered after interviewing a local police officer for two hours is that people are devastated by scams," SAGES president Linda Goldman said. "It would make you cry if you heard what I heard from him."

The show, written by Goldman, depicts five real-life scams to teach audience members what to be on the lookout for so they can avoid being the next victim.

“By putting those stories on stage, you make it real for people and then they have an emotional reaction,” said SAGES Executive Director Christine Hamacher. “When they have an emotional reaction to the information they are receiving, they are going to remember it.”

Many of the actors have seen their own friends and relatives caught up in calls, texts and emails that were anything but legit.

“Thinking about my grandmother and just everybody out there, to be able to spread this message and to show what a concern it is and then to raise awareness,” said Skyla Luckey.

Every audience member will receive a goodie bag full of useful tips, help lines and fun items to remind them about the lessons learned during this show.

“If we help just one or two people avoid being scammed and losing a lot more than dignity, money—we’ve done our job and we are very proud of it,” said actor Rosalyn Savel.

“Phoney Baloney” is being performed for the public on Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m. at Conmy Center (750 San Salvador Drive, Dunedin) and Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m. at Catherine Hickman Theater (5501 27th Avenue South, Gulfport).

Admission is free. For more information, call 727-536-7076.