Suffolk girl shines with Hurrah Players

Published 8:23 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

It seems that whatever Elainey Bass puts her mind to, she achieves.

Last year, the Northern Shores kindergartner decided she wanted to take on the pageant world, so she entered her first contest and took home the title of National American Miss Virginia.

Then, just a few months after she earned her crown, she decided she wanted to be a stage actress. She was planning to take some courses from the Hurrah Players Theater Company. While registering for her classes, Elainey caught wind of the Hurrah Players’

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spring production, “Nick’s Blues Clues.” She wanted to take her chances and take the stage for the audition.

“I said, ‘Well, go ahead, try it if you want,’” said Cassie Bass, Elainey’s mom. “She hadn’t even taken one class yet, so you did not want to get her hopes up.”

But Elainey knew what she wanted, and with no formal training aside from church praise dancing and choir singing, the little girl belted the song she knew the best, “Amazing Grace,” for her audition.

Just like that, she landed a role in the play.

“It’s fun,” Elainey said. “I just wanted to be on stage. I like it when I’m onstage performing for people.”

Elainey found out on a Tuesday morning that she had made the play; by Tuesday night she was in rehearsals.

The play follows the popular Nickelodeon characters, Nick and Blue, as they try to find the most spectacular place in the whole world.

Elainey plays one of the stars in outer space that Nick and Blue meet along their journey.

For the past month, Elainey and the rest of the cast have been rehearsing every weeknight. While the schedule can be grueling, Elainey’s mom Cassie said it is worth the effort.

“I was amazed today (at the Player’s last rehearsal) just looking at them,” Cassie said. “They are really incredible.”

Most important, Cassie said, performing helps give Elainey a better sense of herself.

“She’s already not shy,” Cassie said. “But she’s more open than ever. (Performing) encourages her a lot. It’s puts their fears to the side.”

The play will debut today at 7 p.m., and there will be a special Mother’s Day performance at 3 p.m. Both performances will take place at Nauticus in downtown Norfolk.

Following her stint with the Hurrah Players, Elainey will return to the pageant world this summer to crown the next National American Miss Virginia. But after that, it’s back to the theater.

“We’ll take some more classes, and then we’ll see in the fall or winter what plays there are,” Cassie said.

But Elainey is two steps ahead.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” she said with a big smile.

“See,” Cassie laughed. “She already has it planned out.”