The cast of Anne of Green Gables gave a sneak peak of what’s to come on July 8 as the much-anticipated musical is set to premiere in Huntingdon at Grove Hall starting at 7 pm.
Crédit photo : Sarah Rennie
It’s official – Anne Shirley, everyone’s favourite red-headed orphan, will be touring the Haut-Saint-Laurent this summer, with five stops planned for the Rural Arts Project produced musical under the big tent in Huntingdon, Hinchinbrooke, Ormstown, St-Anicet and Franklin.
During a sneak preview on June 5, the cast of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical, which features over forty local actors, dancers and musicians ranging in age from 7 to 70, served up a hearty dose of Canadiana with a whimsical sampling of what’s to come this July. As charming as the original tale told by Lucy Maud Montgomery, you will not want to skip this show, and with thirteen opportunities across the Valley, there is little excuse for missing it either.
Directed by Tina Bye, with Musical Direction by Sarah C Fraser, this version of the original Charlottetown show features both a youth and adult ensemble, with a number of favourites familiar to the Grove Hall stage and summer arts camps, as well as several newcomers including Dakota Adams and Callan Forrester, who will alternate playing Anne.
The big top tour
Mark and Tina Bye, the dynamic team behind Grove Hall, have long imagined the rural landscape of the Chateauguay Valley as the perfect location for a travelling production. They have been working for well over a year to get all the gears in motion to bring a professional grade community theatre production on tour in a rural setting. This was no small feat, as it first required a tent, then a production, a series of host locations, and finally a cast willing and ready to go along for the adventure. With everything now in place, Anne of Green Gables will premiere on July 8 in Huntingdon at Grove Hall. During the following weeks it will travel to Rennie’s Farm in Rockburn, the Ormstown Fairgrounds, the Manoir du Lac-Saint-François, and Brook’s Farm on Covey Hill in Franklin.
Fundraiser for municipalities
For Mark and Tina, the Anne of Green Gables tour realizes two of the main goals they set out to achieve with the launch of Grove Hall: to make musical theatre accessible in a rural environment, and to bring together the different communities of the Haut-Saint-Laurent. “We want to make sure everyone gets a taste of what the Rural Arts Project and Grove Hall are offering the Valley,” says Tina, while suggesting it is important all the communities feel involved in the production.
“There are 13 shows and we want to dedicate each one of our performances to a municipality,” adds Mark, while detailing a plan to offer municipalities the opportunity to not only sell tickets but to keep 20% of the sales to be put towards their own cultural programming or activities. “We need some help, but we want to give something back in return,” he continues, while acknowledging with a large cast and significant logistics to manage, it will be more difficult to concentrate on ticket sales.
Arts Alive back for 2018
With support from ELAN (English Language Arts Network), Heritage Canada and the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, the Rural Arts Project will once again be holding its one-day celebration of local culture and the arts during Arts Alive 2018 on July 8. The day will start with the ever-popular Teddy Bear’s Picnic, followed by a children’s concert featuring Chris Pennington and Friends, an afternoon of music with members of the Durham County Poets, and a dance spectacle. The day, which will also include workshops by artists and artisans, will culminate at 7 pm with the debut of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical.
Tickets for all five locations are available online, at participating municipalities and by calling 514-791-5100. For more information,