The Playhouse Theatre Company at Stephens College is producing the classic story, “Anne of Green Gables,” this week.
The play begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, and again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, and Thursday, Dec. 11. Ticket information
The play, by R. N. Sandberg, is adapted from the original L.M. Montgomery novel and stays true to the story of an orphanage mix-up and a young girl who captures the hardest of hearts. And Assistant Professor Carol Estey, who is directing the show, expects audiences to be just as taken by Anne as her reluctant guardians.
“It is a really sweet story focused on a young girl with an irrepressible spirit who struggles to overcome prejudice and a fair amount of bad luck,” Estey said. “She is a bright and willful girl who has to learn how to function in the society she enters. She has never known love, and the family that adopts her has had an uncluttered life and has never known parenthood. What develops between them is a rich discovery and a richer life. … Even though they almost all want to resist her, they can’t help but be affected by her.”
First-year student Clara Bentz is taking on the title role of Anne Shirley. For the role, Bentz has watched videos of the TV adaptation and the PBS animated series and is reading the book. She’s also discussed the character at length with Estey and Professor Rob Doyen, concluding that the chatty 13-year-old orphan needs to talk in order to feel safe.
“There’s a back story you have to understand,” Bentz said. “She’d been shuffled from family to family. Talking is a way to escape.”
In addition to a heartwarming story, audiences can expect an innovative set and period costumes designed by students.
“This is an opportunity to see our Stephens students being the best they can be in a really lovely play,” Estey said.
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