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The Hollywood Reporter called Janey an “irrepressible star” and San Diego Magazine deemed the film “funny and heartwarming.” Theater audiences across the country have fallen in love with this inspiring story of growing older with pizazz. It’s a powerful story of community involvement to share with the whole neighborhood.

Follow 90-year-old Janey as she writes and directs her latest original, socially relevant community theatre production for her small town. Experience the creative process unfold with a cast of colorful townspeople, as they engage with the arts amidst a local economy devastated by the recent recession.

Buy the special edition DVD and get an extra 82 minutes of bonus features for free.

Total film runtime: 80 minutes


The characters in Janey Makes A Play demonstrate the enormous value of community participation in the arts, even into your 90s like Janey! Through their stories, you’ll be inspired to:

  • Bring people together to be a part of something bigger than ourselves
  • Use the powerful medium of storytelling to express what it means to be human
  • Participate in and attend theatre as a way to contribute to our community’s education, literacy, and creativity
  • Spark economic revitalization in your own community

With the special edition DVD, you’ll be able to see how the small town of Rio Vista went about pulling off a community-wide theatrical event, with a special behind the scenes look at what it takes to bring a large group of people together and increase engagement and participation.


Join thousands of viewers across the country that are using Janey Makes A Play to inspire positive engagement in their community. Here are some recent success stories:

  • A woman in Texas who saw the film reestablished her local community theatre troupe that had gone defunct.
  • A 16-year-old high schooler in San Diego was inspired to increase participation in her theatre department after relating to the teens in the film.
  • Groups that have shown the film have reported a larger turnout for their next production.

Janey Makes A Play was a huge hit with my students...not only was it educational, but it was also fun.” —Anthony Palmiotto, Cinematic Arts Instructor at Point Loma High School



– Indiewire


“Funny and heartwarming”

– San Diego Magazine


“Remarkable…an extraordinary production.”

– San Joaquin Magazine


“More Norman Rockwell than Waiting for Guffman”

– The Hollywood Reporter



We hope you'll stand behind our work by purchasing the film on DVD. Your purchase will directly support our production company and help us keep producing films like Janey Makes A Play, telling positive stories that value others, and making those films available to the public.

To buy the film as a gift, simply add the item to your cart, check out, and enter the recipient’s information in the “Shipping Address” section.


Jared Callahan is an expert on the subject of Janey, because she is his grandmother. While at home for Christmas in 2011 the two of them discussed all the ideas Janey had for her upcoming original community theatre production. Jared set to work raising funds to be able to capture the story of Janey and Rio Vista on film. 

Janey laughs with her filmmaker grandson Jared Callahan during a flub in rehearsals.


Jared Callahan has spoken at dozens of conferences, events and film festivals all over the country. His presentation weaves together thought-provoking ideas about community theatre, and reflections on making Janey Makes A Play, including:

  • Why he made the film
  • How it changed his perspective on community
  • How everyone can benefit from community engagement

Learn more about inviting Jared to speak at your next event.


We've created the Janey Makes A Play Screening Kit to give organizations an easy-to-use resource for showing the film and leading a discussion about community theatre, the arts, and healthy aging.

Learn more about sharing the film with your community.

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The filmmakers and characters have recently appeared on NPR and CW6.


There’s not a smidgen of snark in Janey Makes a Play—viewers expecting Waiting for Guffman will find themselves touched by a different internal chord. This charming documentary presents a reality story the world desperately needs, about the power of community, inclusion, and creativity.”

– Tracy Bristol, Creative Concepts Manager and Art Director at TCU Marketing & Communication


This true story of a modern renaissance woman who began a new career at 90 is both inspiring and moving. After screening Janey Makes a Play, my students and I felt as if we had adopted a new family and town. Many felt invested in the success of both Janey's plays as well as the economy and recovery of the previously unknown town of Rio Vista. This documentary rallies the human spirit and helps young people connect to a reality outside of their own."

– Don Etherridge, English 12AP Literature and Composition & Film Studies at Mission Vista High School


It’s funny, heartwarming, and tragic, all at the same time."

– Dean Nelson, Director of Point Loma Nazarene University's Journalism Program

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