After retiring, Donna Bane, of League City, created a bucket list of activities that she'd always wanted to do but never made time for.

"Too often after people retire and just sit, they lose their passion," said Bane. "You're wasting time. Time is the greatest gift we have."

To reach one of her goals, acting in a play, she enrolled in College of the Mainland professor Mark Adams' acting class. Along with students of all ages, she learned to use her voice and stage presence to present a dynamic character. At his suggestion, Bane auditioned for the play he was directing, "Prelude to a Kiss," a love story with a twist, at COM Community Theatre.

She landed a role as Aunt Dorothy, an overenthusiastic aunt who has a bit too much to drink at her niece's wedding.

"This is just so much fun. I'm still laughing at the jokes [after multiple rehearsals]," said Bane.

Though a newbie to the stage at COM Community Theatre, she'd been in its seats for more than 35 years as a season subscriber.

"It's much easier to sit there and watch than to be in the play. It's outside of my comfort zone. I'm nervous as I can be," said Bane.

She is grateful for the support of her fellow cast members.

"The credentials of all the people who are in the plays here are staggering. This college is very blessed to have Mark and Tom [King, set designer] and Rob [de los Reyes, assistant director]," said Bane.

At rehearsals, Adams is impressed with her skills and enthusiasm.

"Donna possesses the single most important trait that makes a great student--intellectual curiosity. This carries over into her adventurous spirit and makes her a joy to work with as an actor," said Adams.

 Her husband of 15 years is another source of inspiration.

"My husband is my true north. He's very encouraging," said Bane.

Besides the play, Bane keeps busy with her grandchildren and co-directing a children's theatre at Clear Lake United Methodist Church. She's also crossing off items on her bucket list, like hot air ballooning and taking a floral design class at the COM Learning Center. Next she plans to join a tap dancing class for adults.

"I have a calling and this was one," said Bane. "I think everybody has a calling to do the things they want to do."

To see Bane in "Prelude to a Kiss," visit the website at