‘Anne of Green Gables’ playing at the Academy Theatre

Michelle Swane (foreground) directs a scene from “Anne of Green Gables” to be presented by the Arcadia Valley Theatre Guild at the Arcadia Academy Theatre next weekend. On stage from left are Shelley Bishop, Savannah Boeving, Aubrey Boeving, Maggie Newstead-Adams/Paul Royer, Jyllian Torres, and Mason Sutton.

At 14, and with several Arcadia Valley Community Theatre productions on her resume, Maggie Newstead-Adams is one of the “older” actors in the cast of “Anne of Green Gables.”  The production will take the stage at the Arcadia Academy Theatre May 10, 11 and 12, beginning at 7 p.m.

“This (play) is more well-known,” said Maggie (who plays the titular Anne Shirley), “A lot of people have told me they will come to see it and it will be their first Community Theatre play. It is such a traditional story, but we are putting our own spin on it.”

“They are doing so well,” said Director Michelle Swane. “We usually stick to around a nine or ten person cast. We have 22 people in this cast and I thought it was going to be really difficult, but people are working together and coming together and it has been incredible. We have been practicing little segments, so it will be exciting to see it all come together.  They are doing a fantastic job. I can’t say enough great things about them.”

And this time, the production has drawn cast members not only from the local communities, but also from Farmington, Fredericktown, Annapolis and Potosi.

Perhaps it is because the material is so widely known and loved. “Anne of Green Gables” was written by L.M. Montgomery and the play was adapted by Sylvia Ashby.

The play’s publisher, Samuel French Company, describes it as “A refreshing, contemporary telling of the classic story. Stern Marilla and her warm-hearted brother Matthew hoped to adopt a boy to work on their farm. But the orphanage sends young, befreckled Anne by mistake, and their lives will never be the same. Her warmth and wit affect everyone around her - even, eventually, the cold Marilla. We follow Anne through her rebellious years, her transformation into a young woman, and her romantic pairing with Gilbert. This play has been charming audiences around the world.”

Since a good many of the cast members are in the age range of 9 to 11 years old, the director said it is likely that whole families will be vying for seats to this production.

“People should call in to purchase their tickets ahead to time (see the ad on page A8),” she said. “This is the first show where there might not be any tickets left at the door.”

Since this will be the first production for many of the younger cast members, you might think there would be a little nervousness about the upcoming shows.

“There is for some people,” said Savanna Boeving, who plays a young Ruby Gillis, “but it just depends on how you deal with the situation. You can be nervous about so many people in the audience or you can be excited to be a part of this experience.”

The director noted that despite the fact the play is a drama, it is interlaced with comedy.

“And girl powerI” she added.

“I think it is a good opportunity to have a bigger voice,” said Jyllian Torrez, who plays a young Charlie Sloan, “and to really bubble!”

L.M. Montgomery’s

Anne of

Green Gables

Adapted by Sylvia Ashby

Cast and credits:

•Anne Shirley- Maggie Newstead-Adams

•Marilla Cuthbert- Shelley Bishop

•Matthew Cuthbert- John Jones

•Rachel Lynde- Katie Orr

•Station Master- Porter Rouse

•Mr. Spencer- Paul Royer

•Mrs. Blewitt- Faith Smothers

•Diana Barry- Lily Pursley/Brooklyn Hatridge

•Mrs. Barry- Sam Cooper

•Mr. Phillips- Brick Autry

•Miss. Stacy- Grace Obenhaus

•Ruby Gillis- Savannah Boeving/Jessica Cooper

•Josie Pye- Aubry Boeving/Emma Spiker

•Moody MacPherson- Mason Sutton

•Charlie Sloan- Jyllian Torres/Serenity Warren

•Gilbert Blythe- Wren Blount/ Josh Obenhaus

•Prissy Andrews- Sarala Buckman

•Venue- Katherine and Darwin Rouse

•Production Manager- Anna-Marie Beard

•Directors- Brick Autry/Michelle Swane

•Stage Manager and Graphic Design- Garrett Hargiss

•Sound- Cory King

•Set- Paul Royer/Shelley Bishop/Brick Autry

•Costumes, Hair and Makeup- London and Amanda Hatridge/Shannon Blount

•Spotlights- Holly Martin Huffman