The stage has at all times been set for the primary household of Chemenes of the performing arts to proceed to make their mark.
Matriarch Sandra Hayden, who turns 94 in September, has skilled and achieved all of it all through the group, passing on her ardour for singing, dancing, appearing and selection reveals to daughter Liz Hayden Bennett. The torch is now being carried on to the subsequent era with Georgia Bennett, 27, Sandra’s granddaughter and Liz’s daughter, at present performing within the blockbuster traditional Nation Roads on the Chemainus Theater till August 21.
The widespread traits of the three transcend apparent familial and creative skills to an attention-grabbing numerical coincidence. As soon as Sandra and Liz’s subsequent birthday is well known in September, Georgia’s age (27) and Liz’s (67) age will likely be equal to Sandra’s (94).
Those that have lived in Chemnes because the Fifties and ’60s learn about three of the town’s well-known docs and their households – Hayden, Philipson, and Fenton. To place every part into context for individuals who do not know the historical past, Sandra Hayden has at all times been the final community-minded volunteer and spouse of distinguished physician, Gordon Hayden, who died in 2010.
Sandra, Chemnes Hospital Auxiliary and Seniors Heart was the present’s distinctive music director. Jam classes had been a standard prevalence at Hayden’s home as Sandra rehearsed numbers on her organ – and even on her personal set of drums.
“She was at all times concerned within the music for our youngsters within the household,” Liz stated. “It was undoubtedly an enormous a part of all of our lives.”
Locations had been booked wherever and all over the place for reveals together with all church buildings and even summer time reveals for a while on the Promise Backyard Theater, situated in a former Tahiti restaurant that homes Kemenas and It was on the nook of Crofton Roads. A stage was constructed there within the space of the big entrance backyard.
Sandra has by no means met a venue she didn’t wish to carry out, essentially the most well-known being the Hospital Day Present.
She was in each conceivable scenario with the Chemnes hospital assistant. He produced and directed 17 full-length musicals, with the proceeds getting used to buy tools and tools for the hospital.
When Sandra was awarded a lifetime membership for The Assistant, historian Karl Twentyman wrote the next about her celebrity present standing: “I do not know the way she did it, however everybody was completely different. Not a present ending quickly sufficient.” And she or he had a theme for the subsequent present. For instance, she went to Germany and got here again with the theme of the Night time of Nights present.
“They not solely dropped at the fore the native skills of singers, dancers and actors, but additionally the visuals, costumes, props, make-up artists, lighting technicians, sound results and stage arms, and would you imagine that they did throughout this time? Additionally coordinated the meals to be served. Intermission.”
At present, Granddaughter is thrilled to be Georgia’s No. 1 fan with Sandra Liz.
“Whenever you take heed to her, you notice how gifted she is,” stated Sandra. “She has such a beautiful signing voice.
“I am completely delighted and the truth that she’s doing it regionally means I can go see her efficiency.”
Sandra and Gordon enthusiastically supported the theater from the start. “The entire thing with this theater, we’re fortunate to have it,” she defined.
Sandra, the present manufacturing of Traditional Nation Roads, stated, “It was completely wonderful. I totally loved it. All of the forged and musicians had been wonderful. In fact, I’ve a particular place in my coronary heart for Georgia. She’s so gifted.”
Grandma has seen Georgia a number of occasions in previous productions of Vacation Jubilation, Kidz Play Present and most not too long ago made her foray into the Eating Room Playbill Presents collection as a solo artist.
Liz has solely seen Traditional Nation Roads 5 occasions to this point, however plans to make an look once more earlier than the top. Sadly, regardless of rave evaluations, attendance for the theater has not lived as much as expectations, as folks battle to get again because the COVID shutdown continues.
“Within the first few days from opening evening to now, every part is so tight,” Liz stated. “For me, it retains getting higher and higher.”
It is slightly disappointing to see so many empty seats for Georgia and the opposite forged members, however the present ought to go on.
“I’d say when the theater is full it makes an enormous distinction,” Georgia stated.
Surprisingly, it did not initially appear to be the puberty-acting bug was going to chew him.
“I began studying to sing once I was actually younger and I did not prefer it,” Georgia laughed.
That every one modified when Glee got here out and she or he attended a boot camp at Duncan’s Chalkboard Theater on the age of 14.
“Since then, I have never appeared again,” Georgia admitted.
Household experiences additionally helped gas that fascination for the humanities.
“Simply being surrounded by it, it in all probability made a much bigger impression than I believed,” she stated. “I feel my grandparents took me to the theater on a regular basis, I watched every part develop up.”
COVID clearly derailed the trade, however Georgia bounced again and noticed the Caymanas Theater as the right alternative to land the function.
“It has been nice,” she stated. “I am so grateful to be working in theater as a lot as I’ve. Being in my hometown makes a distinction. And my household can come and see it and my highschool mates.”
“I am thrilled to have myself,” stated Liz. “I understand how a lot she enjoys it. I like watching her and being proper behind her on a regular basis. I give her encouragement and assist. We’re all so proud as a result of we’re all our youngsters.”
Georgia has taken on that assist to develop right into a stronger performer with every passing 12 months.
“You study loads from the folks you’re surrounded by,” she admitted.
And the possibility to attempt one thing completely different like traditional nation roads is rewarding.
“I knew nothing concerning the nation earlier than this present,” stated Georgia. “I feel it opened up an entire new world for me. It is also a variety of well-liked nation songs.”
It is secure to say that the way forward for the long-standing group leisure custom is in good arms.
Artwork Household Reside Theater