‘Anne of Green Gables’ brings family fun

Musical caters to all ages

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Lauren Thon

Junior Gwen Rockler-Gladen and Freshman Alicia Mainjeni reherse a scene on Oct. 27. ‘Anne of Green Gables’ premieres Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.

Tobias Khabie

In past years, the Park theater program has put on many sobering productions, from “Love/Sick” to “The Amish Project.” However, in its first in-person production since the start of the pandemic, senior and Thespian Club vice president Caroline Butler said the theater program wanted to do a more family-friendly show. 

“Anne of Green Gables is a show that we can introduce younger kids to theaters, this could be one of the first shows they see,” Butler said. “It is a show that has a simple story and (is) very family-friendly that they can bring young children to.”

This is my first real high school senior experience, so everything’s really exciting and new for me”

— Elena Colacci

Based on the book by Lucy Maud Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables” tells the story of an adopted girl trying to win over her new family, who had mistakenly adopted her instead of a boy. Director Jodi Schifsky said the musical highlights wholesome themes.

“It’s a classic tale of love and family and finding your place in the world,” Schifsky said. “(Anne) has to win her family over and then she has to win the entire town over and we see her grow throughout the music.”

Sophomore Elena Colacci, who plays Marilla, Anne’s adopted sister, said she’s thrilled to be a part of her first high school production with a live audience.

“This is my first real high school senior experience, so everything’s really exciting and new for me,” Colacci said.

According to Butler, COVID-19 restrictions highlighted the importance of a strong community within the theater program.

“The aspect of having COVID-19 has made us even closer because you realize just how important people are,” Butler said. “At rehearsals you are always talking to multiple people, you’re not just with your friends. It’s very important to us to make sure we know everyone’s names, who they’re playing, what their pronouns are and getting to know them as a person.”

Due to the pandemic, both freshmen and sophomores will be participating in their first live production as last year’s productions were all online. Schifsky said the excitement and anticipation from the underclassman pairs well with the show’s uplifting plot.

“The energy and the eagerness of this new group of students is fantastic,” Schifsky said. “Because it’s such an optimistic show, it’s good to have that youthful energy that drives the characters but also drives the feel of the whole production.”

“Anne of Green Gables” will open at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 14.