(This is the second of two parts on Chemainus actress/singer Georgia Bennett).
It’s like being in It’s A Wonderful Life and Little Women at the same time for Georgia Bennett.
Not only is the Chemainus actress/singer enjoying the chance to spend some time at home during the Christmas season from her Toronto abode, she’s also assuming the role of Beth March in Little Women at the Chemainus Theatre.
“They’re going really well,” said Bennett of the Little Women presentations. “It’s the perfect show to do for Christmas. It’s such a family story.
“It resonates with a lot of people. Most people have an idea what it is.”
Bennett has her own recollections of the story before appearing in the production.
“I think I must have read the book when I was really young,” she indicated. “I re-read it, of course.”
Bennett was cast for the part way back in April. “I’d known for a while,” she conceded.
Bennett sent in a tape of herself singing one of the songs last year when she was home doing the KidzPlay The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
“From that, I was cast and I was really, really thankful,” she noted.
“A lot of casting has to do with how you are and how you associate with people.”
Other projects occupied her time in the interim before she came home to Chemainus for the start of rehearsals on Oct. 22, leading up to the show’s opening on Nov. 16. Little Women concludes Dec. 30.
“I can definitely relate to having siblings,” said Bennett.
She has two older brothers who are both musicians, one in film and one in special education. That’s a slight contrast from her family of three sisters in the show.
One of those, Samantha Currie, who portrays Meg, also got her start in acting in the Cowichan Valley.
“I grew up watching her here,” Bennett said of Currie.
Karyn Mott (Jo) and Kaitlyn Yott (Amy) are the other sisters.
The Little Women schedule has been quite demanding with two shows every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, single shows on Fridays and matinees on Sundays, but with Mondays and Tuesdays off.
“When you’re doing a show a lot, you find yourself momentarily going on auto-pilot,” reasoned Bennett.
But her lines and the script are so ingrained in her brain, she doesn’t miss a beat.
Bennett said she actually loves the two-show days and “I’m grateful to be doing it. That’s what keeps my drive going.
“It’s such a fun show. I don’t stop moving the whole show.”
The only unfortunate part is she makes an early exit with Beth’s death. That gives her a chance to clean out her station behind the scenes while the production plays on till the end.
What can we expected from Bennett in 2019? A close friend is producing a cabaret at the end of January in Toronto that she’ll be singing in, for starters.
We could even see her back at the Chemainus Theatre, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
“My goals and dreams have changed in the last few years – just to do as much as I possibly can,” Bennett reasoned.
“Canadian Theatre is a really important thing and it’s nice to be in Toronto where a lot of it is happening.
“Ideally, I’ll go back and forth. I do love both places and they both have advantages.”
In the interim, Bennett has been making sure to savour every moment of Little Women.
“It’s been great,” she said. “It’s really exciting. It feels like a dream come true. Now I actually get to be back here and be on the stage. It’s nice to be back and it’s nice to be back for Christmas. It adds another nostalgia to it.”
She loves the intimacy of the Chemainus Theatre as a performing venue.
“You definitely feel the energy coming off the audience and when they’re invested in it, you can feel it.
“I’m so thankful to be doing this, something I love for my career.”