Yeoman of Regard - 2020
Brendon joined the Sudbury Savoyards with the 1999 production of Iolanthe, encouraged by his now wife, Kirsten Chetwynd. Since then he has served in a variety of roles ranging from chorus to behind the scenes tech, and from Tech Director to Producer. In spite of the occasional playing with other troupes, the Savoyards are Brendon’s theatrical home and he welcomes the opportunity to serve on its Board of Trustees.
Induction Ceremony - May 29, 2021
Brendon Chetwynd’s Yeomen of Regard Induction Speech
presented by Laurel Martin, May 29, 2021
When Brendon Chetwynd joined The Sudbury Savoyards, it is safe to say he was besotted. In fact, he was officially head-over-heels. Though, at that time he was not in love with our company; instead, his story begins with a young man who developed an interest in someone he met while working at Raytheon. He then followed this intelligent, creative, beautiful, blond up onto the stage. That woman was Kirsten Olsen, a long-time Savoyard along with her parents, Rich and Lin. Today we know this young woman as Kiri Chetwynd, his wife and mother of his two children, Elliot and Rhiânnon.
Brendon started with the 1999 production of Iolanthe. The performance was held in the old Lincoln-Sudbury High School that had some entrances at audience level near the stage. There was no sunken orchestra pit, as there is in the current building, so the musicians entered and exited these doors. Our creative stage directors also used these house entrances. In this particular production, Brendon marched in with the Peers at the head of a line, bringing them in from the lower entrance and up onto the stage. Clearly, he started off in his very first production with our group in a leadership role.
Because of his father’s interests, Brendon had done woodworking prior to becoming a member of The Savoyards. Since that time, he has been part of set construction in over 20 shows and has been Set Construction Chief in 3 different productions. Over the years he has amassed quite a collection of tools that he stores neatly in red Milwaukee-brand stacking bins. Overall, he has been instrumental in our ability to create “Gilbert and Sullivan on a Grand Scale.” Regardless of his role in any given production, he was involved from the beginning with different creative aspects of the company. (With the notable exception of the day he proposed to Kiri at the Wayside Inn here in Sudbury, and they didn’t quite make it to the Saturday Tech Day!)
Brendon spent many years involved in town government in his hometown. During this time and during his time as a member of the Board of Trustees, he has shown great diplomacy, often handling uncomfortable or sticky situations with patience and understanding. He has been on the Board for more than 10 years total starting with his election in 2001 after his third production. He was instrumental during our transition period to the independent 501c3 non-profit that we are today.
Now, the Savoyards have a long tradition of referring to the roles that people hold as wearing different hats. Brendon has contributed to this company extensively over the years and worn a wide variety of hats, often putting one one simply because it needed to be filled. As an elected member of the Board of Trustees, he has been trustee, secretary, treasurer, vice-chair, and is currently the chair. He has officially and successfully worn the Producer hat 3 times and the TD hat 6 times. He has donned the lighting crew hat, the database manager hat, the costume construction crew hat, the props construction crew hat, and the stage crew hat. (The last of which has meant he now owns a lot of black shirts with red text!)
If you haven’t realized it, Brendon is a creative thespian, a free-spirit, if you will. Despite the fact that his extensive behind-the-scenes work has not allowed him to perform on stage since I first met him during The Sorcerer 2002, he still often shows this side of himself. I mean who doesn’t want to wear fairy make-up, a rainbow-pleated utilikilt, a fleece hat with colorful spears sticking out of it, or a bright neon hair color?
Brendon has not only shown extraordinary service in support of the mission of The Sudbury Savoyards; he is truly an extraordinary individual. He is creative, detail-oriented, and fun-loving (must be from his degrees in Engineering). He has shown his love for and dedication to this group for almost a quarter century and is truly deserving of this lifetime achievement award. I am pleased to present my dear friend, Brendon Chetwynd, the 2020 recipient of the Yeomen of Regard.