Michelle Bardach is back at the Chemainus Theatre for the first time since 2014. (Photo submitted)

Michelle Bardach is back at the Chemainus Theatre for the first time since 2014. (Photo submitted)

Long wait over for theatre fare

Holiday Jubilation being felt for the return to the stage

Everyone’s hopeful the light at the end of the tunnel will continue to get brighter for the Chemainus Theatre.

The facility is the beacon of Chemainus and so much business in its vicinity revolves around it throughout the year.

The long absence from live theatre since March of 2020 is finally coming to an end this week with Holiday Jubilation and we can all use a lot of that right now. The Christmas concert will surely lift spirits and provide inspiration when COVID lockdowns and restrictions are starting to becoming onerous.

The theatre industry has been harder hit by the pandemic than virtually anything else. It’s slowly returning to normal, but we may not necessarily be out of the woods yet.

Ed Peekeekoot, Kraig Waye, Michelle Bardach and Georgia Bennett are primed to provide some uplifting seasonal songs with backing instrumentalists and under the direction of Heather Burns. And artistic director Mark DuMez will be adding some festive touches to the proceedings.

Peekeekoot of Crofton and Chemainus’ own Bennett are well-known to local audiences and their interaction with Waye and Bardach for this concert will clearly be something to behold.

“COVID has left us paralyzed,” conceded Bardach, who’s returning to the Chemainus Theatre stage for the first time since Les Miserables in 2014.

It’s not only Christmastime, but a true coming out of a strange hibernation for people, especially in a theatre town like Chemainus. “For me, the feeling comes more from seeing the audience get to come back and letting them have that experience,” said Bardach.

She’s already had a couple of chances to see that happening at other venues before returning to Chemainus.

The theatre promises to make a slow transition back into full production in 2022, ensuring its plan works and everyone remains safe and feels comfortable. The cast and crew will not be as large for the first few shows early in the year before resuming full production hopefully by the fall.

It must be said the theatre’s mere survival has relied even more on donations and the generosity of the community than ever before. Fundraising campaigns have helped keep it afloat in these trying times before setting sail into the smoother waters ahead.

CoronavirusTheatre

 

Audiences are anxious to get back into the Chemainus Theatre. You can only watch Netflix so much. (File photo by Don Bodger)

Audiences are anxious to get back into the Chemainus Theatre. You can only watch Netflix so much. (File photo by Don Bodger)