Anne of Green Gables
by Encore Youth Theatre

Elizabeth Richardson and Jalie FranswayBased on the popular series of books by Lucy Maud Montgomery that put Canada’s Prince Edward Island on the map, this musical adaptation of Anne of Green Gables is a perennial favorite in Canada and a nice treat out in Vista, California where Encore Youth Theatre and Director Eric Vest presented a charming production of it at the historic Avo Theatre.

It’s a story that revolves around the singular young orphan Anne (with an ‘e’) who gets accidentally adopted by a middle-aged brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who were looking for a boy to help around the farm, but end up getting a girl whose personality can be a bit overwhelming, but is definitely endearing. And ten-year-old Elizabeth Richardson is a marvel as the precocious, verbose, temperamental, and occasionally gory-minded girl who tries her best to navigate a “graveyard of broken hopes” and climb out of “the depths of despair,” doing so with melodramatic gusto.

Austen Chafin EamesJoining her is a good cast of Green Gables townsfolk. Jalie Fransway is best friend Diana Barry, Anne’s vibrant kindred spirit with a winning smile who is really impressive as a relaxed, happy, ten-year-old drunk after downing a bottle of “raspberry cordial.” Teddy Blessing gives a strong performance as Gilbert Blythe, the good-natured boy who ends up getting Anne in trouble and regrets it from then on (Anne can hold a grudge for a while). Teresa Wilson is terrific as the pretty, gossipy bad girl and rival of Anne, who can sing as well.

As the adult characters, Austen Chafin Eames nicely transitions from the prudish, holier-than-thou Marilla Cuthbert to a more understanding, sympathetic soul. Jacob Jones is a calm and comforting Matthew Cuthbert who quickly falls for their new little girl. And the ensemble does a good job as gossipy townspeople and as excited students who rally around their new teacher Ms. Stacy (Alexis Young with a great voice and personality) who becomes another inspiration for Anne as she grows from a hilarious little girl to an intelligent, considerate, and loving young lady.

Performs September 21-29, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Alexis Young and schoolchildrenMrs. Rachel Lynde: Rebecca Lynn Sterling
Mrs. Sloane: Cassidy McCarthy
Mrs. Barry: Angela Arredondo
Mrs. MacPherson: Jaime Sykes
Mrs. Pye: Lexi Carr
Earl, the mailman: Kurtis Omori
Cecil, the farmer: Chris Brooks
Marilla Cuthbert: Austen Chafin Eames
Matthew Cuthbert: Jacob Jones
Anne Shirley: Elizabeth Richardson
Mrs. Spencer: Katherine Gorham
Mrs. Blewett: Alexis Young
Diana Barry: Jalie Fransway
Gilbert Blythe: Teddy Blessing
Bessie Blythe: Makenna Dearborn
Prissy Andrews: Brenna Rose Marian
Katherine Andrews: Amy Wikle
Josie Pye: Teresa Wilson
Gertie Pye: Danielle Osborn
Trudie Pye: Daria Osborn
Ruby Gillis: Skye McMillan
Tommy Sloan: Tara Young
Charlie Sloan: Katie Blessing
Moody MacPherson: Ravyn Celeste Blanche Bowen
Emily MacPherson: Amara Young
Opal MacPherson: Arianna Young
Tillie Boulter: Alyssa Wilson
Malcolm Andrews: Jennifer Leads
Emma Jean Blewett: Elizabeth Urbina
Mr. Phillips: Tyler Lemire
Lucilla: Cassidy McCarthy
Ms. Stacy: Alexis Young
Stationmaster: Kurtis Omori

Director: Eric Vest
Musical Director: Tracey J. Marino
Orchestra Conductor: Jeffrey Lehman
Choreographer: Michelle Wadleigh
Stage Manager: Kim Kern
Costumer: Sandy Shay
Stage Designer: Doug Davis
Sound Design: Stephen Dennis
Lighting Design: RJ Givens


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