After a childhood of dancing and singing in local grocery stores while shopping with her mom, a Maple Ridge woman unexpectedly learned she would be starring in a West End production of 9 to 5 The Musical in England.
“It was absolutely surreal stepping onto the famous Savoy stage. It all hit me during the first bow I took with the West End cast. I instantly got teary eyed as I took in the audience standing up and cheering” Sierra Brewerton told The News.
The Savoy Theatre in London, England first opened it’s doors in 1881, and Brewerton said she dreamed of one day taking its stage, but called it an “untouchable dream.”
“As a Canadian, productions playing on the West End and Broadway seem untouchably distant,” she said. “There was always a made up ladder of steps in my mind that you had to climb in order to reach a destination like that.”
The former Thomas Haney Secondary student said she originally booked the UK and Ireland Tour of 9 to 5 The Musical as dance captain and other roles.
“About a month and a half after the tour had finished, I got an unexpected call from my agents telling me that the West End production of 9 to 5 The Musical at the famous Savoy Theatre, is asking me to replace a character (Missy, Mr. Harts Wife) in the show.”
After seven months of living in the United Kingdom the 24-year-old learned she would be making her West End debut in March.
Born in Vancouver, Brewerton moved to Maple Ridge with her family 2003.
“Since 2013, I’ve worked across Canada in productions but my family roots are still in Maple Ridge,” she said.
The local actress said she’s been professionally performing since she was 12.
She previously worked four seasons with The Arts Club Theatre Company (Gypsy, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, and Mamma Mia), two seasons with Vancouver Opera (Turnadot, Merry Widow), Neptune Theatre in Halifax (Beauty and The Beast), and at 17 years old she was the youngest cast member with Theatre Calgary (Anne Of Green Gables).
Although Brewerton started acting in her teens, her family said she had an interest in performing as a child.
“My mom likes to say I was always moving and singing around the house and in places like grocery stores from the moment I could walk,” Brewerton explained. “So, she decided to put me into dance and vocal lessons at age five.”
“It didn’t take long for performing to become my passion. Even from a young age, peers and mentors who were around me inspired me to start dreaming about making performing my career.”
The young actress credits her teachers at Alexander Robinson Elementary and Thomas Haney Secondary for her early start on the stage.
“They understood performing was my focus and made it possible for me to balance my education and working as a professional at a young age,” she said.
Her best piece of advice for aspiring young artists is to always be kind.
“Make sure you’re always kind and treat every single person that you meet in this business with respect. If you’re lucky, you may work with them again one day,” she said.
“Also, while the performing arts are universal, each city has something unique to say and their own way of saying it. Challenge yourself to step outside of your own context and experience something new and beautiful.”
Now that Brewerton has realized her dream, she has new goals to focus on.
“I think my dreams change on the daily,” she said. “I would love to continue travelling the world and sharing my passion. Over the past few years, I’ve also been working to create opportunities for Canadian music theatre performers based in Vancouver to continue to develop their skills. I hope that one day I can give as much to someone young as my mentors have given me.”
Show times for 9 to 5 The Musical are on hold as the UK battles to contain the spread of COVID-19.