March 1998

Arlene Clement

by Joseph H. RADDER

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Arlene Clement considers herself a late bloomer. At age 66, she took up acting after retiring from her full-time job as a secretary in the fields of business, education and law. This Western New York stage star admits she would have been too self-conscious as a younger person to explore all the characters she easily slips into today. “Something happens to your confidence as you mature,” says Arlene, who was married at 34, had a daughter at 37, and found her real passion for work at the age 55.

She enjoys meeting and working with new people constantly. “It’s kept me mentally active,” she noted as she prepared for a role as and Alzheimer’s patient. “And challenged,” as she describes portraying a sardine in a can or playing the part of a 6 year-old at a birthday party.

Arlene has won an Artie Award, Western New York’s equivalent to Hollywood’s Oscar, and has been nominated an additional three times for her performances. She’s back on Theatre of Youth’s (TOY) stage for her fourth production with the company in Do Not Go Gentle, by Suzan L. Zeder, in collaboration with AARP. Call TOY at 856-4410 for information on senior group packages that include Talkbacks, a conversation between Arlene, the other cast members and the audience, and dining at noon at the Culinary Institute.

If you’re able to see Arlene in action, you’ll see that she bloomed just in time.

Joseph H. Radder is a freelance writer.


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