New Star was founded in 1978 by Dana Hendry in Trenton, Ontario. She wrote a musical and produced it with the town backing her with rehearsal space, radio assistance for the recording and the local high school for the performance. The show received rave reviews in the local paper and New Star was born. With the help of the entire family, New Star moved to Hamilton and then to Ottawa in 1990. In 2001, Dana moved to California and opened the Theatre in Brentwood. New Star California is now located in Folsom.
Today, New Star is directed by Melanie Walker, Dana’s youngest sister, with Carole-Ann Walker overseeing the theatre as producer.
Melanie Walker, director
Melanie Walker, director of New Star Children's Theatre
Melanie Walker has been performing since she was 3, with her family’s gospel group, where they traveled across Ontario and Quebec.
She grew up in New Star, performing in 28 shows and by the age of 13 she was choreographing. At 18 Melanie stepped in to direct her first show, “Fiddler on the Roof” and has been doing it ever since. Melanie attended the musical theatre performance program at Sheridan College and began teaching in Ottawa in 1992.
Melanie has appeared in numerous shows and concerts in Hamilton, Toronto and Ottawa and is the lead singer in the jazz and blues band “Thursdays at Ed’s”.
Carole-Ann Walker, producer
Graduated in Fine Arts from Sir George Williams University ( now Concordia University) in Montreal and Social Services from Loyalist College in Belleville, Carole-Ann has been New Star’s costume designer and public relations co-ordinator for thirty years.
In the past she taught music and art for children in grades nine through thirteen, produced and wrote children’s musical programs and designed sets and costumes for musicals, concerts and festivals.
Carole-Ann has sung professionally since the age of eight, both on radio and in concert, all over North America, and has also played piano since the age of three. She and her four daughters sang gospel music at churches, festivals and concerts for twelve years.
Today, Carole-Ann oversees New Star programming, still designing costumes and sets and always available to all New Star young actors and their families. “It is absolutely wonderful to see a young child set their goal and reach it on that place of magic – the stage.”