Take a journey with Riverfront Theatre Company to Prince Edward Island as they stage the classic Canadian tale of Anne of Green Gables. The series was written by L.M. Montgomery and has become a well-loved story throughout the years.
When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert send out a request to an orphanage to adopt a young boy to help out with chores around the farm, they are shocked to find out that they were sent a girl instead. Kindred spirit Anne Shirley has entered their lives. She has lots of enthusiasm and a passion for life. Marilla knew she was going to be a handful when Anne insisted that her name be spelled with an ‘E’ at the end because; “A-N-N looks absolutely dreadful; but Ann with an E is quite distinguished.” Marilla at first was not pleased with this mistake and demanded she be brought back. Matthew, however see’s things a little differently. After discussion, the Cuthberts decide to keep Anne Shirley.
Throughout the play you will see how stubborn Anne can really be! She is not afraid to tell it like it is! She responds poorly when Rachel Lynde, a friend of Marilla’s played by Brinda Benher makes a comment about Anne’s naturally red hair, exclaiming: “Lawful heart! Her hair is as red as carrots!”
Alisa Whalen (Young Anne, who appears mostly in act 1) and Grace Clarkson (Older Anne, who appears in act 2) deserve to be recognized for their performances, as Anne is not the easiest role to take on. She has lots of monologues, complex words and always has long winded thoughts. The two girls definitely embraced the spirit of Anne Shirley.
Alanah O’Reilley (Young Diana Barry) and Sixuan Chen (Older Diana Barry) play the role of Anne’s best friend in P.E.I. Anne refers to them as bosom friends; “a bosom friend, a really kindred spirit.” All of the girls connected with each other, showing the audience a true friendship between the characters. A rather humorous moment between the girls was in act 1 with young Anne and Diana when they decided to have a party, but mistake wine for raspberry cordial.
Julian David (Matthew Cuthbert) and Brooke Samms (Marilla Cuthbert) had really good chemistry together. If you are familiar with the story, Marilla and Matthew are opposites when it comes to everyday living. Marilla is by the book and will not bend rules, while Matthew is a kind soft spoken soul who is ok with bending the rules and very much has admired Anne’s spirit since day one. Both actors showcased these qualities and were confident in their roles. Actor, Julian showed he was fast with his humor as he made a comment towards a mishap with one of the stage doors. His quick-witted improvised comment had the audience in stitches! While still keeping his composure for the rest of the scene.
Actress, Kaylee Cabrera may have only appeared in a few scenes in act 2 but shined when she was on stage. Kaylee played the school teacher, Miss. Stacey. Miss. Stacey, was Anne’s favorite teacher as they shared the same passion and energy. Kaylee had an onstage presence that really spoke.
Riverfront Theatre Company is a non-profit theatre organization in the community. They put on shows for actors ages 6-18. Riverfront is the perfect company to get involved with if you have a youngster who has the theatre bug!
Anne of Green Gables was adapted and directed by Kristina Garswood and her daughter Caroline Garswood. Performances were February 23rd at 10am (school show) and 7pm, February 24th at 7pm and February 25th at 2pm at the Olde Walkerville Theatre
Full cast list includes: Alisha Whalen (Young Anne Shirley), Grace Clarkson (Older Anne Shirley), Brooke Samms (Marilla Cuthbert), Julian David (Matthew Cuthbert), Brinda Benher (Rachel Lynde), Elijah David (Gilbert Blythe), Matt Hogan (Mr. Thomas Lynde/Mr. Phillips), Alanah O’Reilley (Young Diana Barry), Sixuan Chen (Older Diana Barry), Audrey LePage (Mrs. Barry), Nathan Perry (Mr. Barry/Station Master), Sydney Bondy (Minnie May Barry), Kaylee Cabrera (Miss. Stacey), Serena David (Mrs. Allan), Ruiari Porcellini (Reverend Allan), Ryan MacLean (The peddler), Hailey Chase (Mrs. Spencer), Adriana Rota (Doctor Spencer), Melanie Tennant (Prissy Andrews), Marissa Dodich (Minnie Andrews), Ayslin Downhill (Jose Pye), Isaiah Pinkowski (Moody MacPherson), Lex Young (Charlie Sloane), Ryan Nesbit (Sam Boulter), Bella Lavoie (Ruby Gillis), Livia Downhill (Gertie Pye), Natalia Dube (Tilly Boulter), Sierra LePage (Mrs. Bluett), MacKenzie Ewen (Sophia Sloane), Abby Soulliere (Ella May MacPherson), Anne Garant (Aunt Josephine Barry), Emma Longeuay (Jane Andrews), Lilly Renaud (Sarah Gillis), Priya Dube (Katie Boulter), Kendra Simone (Lily Jones), Faith Lamas (Mary Jo), Katie Hales (Mrs. Hammond), Rachel Tennant (small child, Anne Shirley) and Indy.