From Page To Stage

Palmer Ridge Reimagines the L.M. Montgomery Classic


Anne Embraces Matthew

Anne of Green Gables is a well-loved story read all over the world and is one of the most popular novels of all time. L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel has been translated into over 36 languages and sold more than 50 million copies worldwide; as a result of its success, Anne’s story has inspired numerous adaptations of the classic novel. As part of their 2022-2023 performance season, the drama club has spared no expense in bringing Anne’s story to life on stage.

The drama of the same name, Anne of Green Gables, adapted by Joseph Robinette, is a favorite choice among schools and regional theaters around the country. Palmer Ridge’s adaptation of Anne of Green Gables demonstrates its dedication to delivering high-quality theater to our community. Their cast and crew have put their hearts and souls into this adaptation, ensuring that it is as true to the original as possible while still offering a fresh perspective to the beloved story. From the beautiful sets to the stunning costumes, everything about the production exudes excellence and attention to detail.

The play depicts 11-year-old Anne Shirley, who was wrongly assigned to the two middle-aged Cuthbert siblings, Matthew and Marilla. Anne of Green Gables spans six years, following Anne from 11 to 16, showing her development and learning up to her graduation from Queen’s Academy.
Tackling such a beloved story was not simple; students had difficulties interpreting the work in their way, deciding when the story became theirs and when to remain authentic to the original narrative. Regardless, students worked hard to fulfill their tasks in the greatest way possible. “The final scene is most enjoyable from an acting standpoint…” recalls Anson Bickerstaff, who played Gilbert Blythe. “Anne, and the rest of Avonlea, are mourning a death and so it makes her encounter with Gilbert more somber and serious, and you get to see them ‘grown up’.” Rowan Vaughn, portraying Mrs. Barry, faced particular struggles when it came to developing her role, “I struggled really hard with it at first, but after I developed the foundation, the ASMs [Assistant Stage Managers], gave me some really good recommendations.”

Despite popular assumption, the most crucial aspect of live theater is the community as a whole, not the actors. Myraezia Wyckoff, a member of the costumes department, stresses the importance of collaboration between cast members and crew. “Some costumes were either too big or too small, but the actors were willing to switch costumes with others to make them fit their bodies.” As the final curtain fell on Bear Necessity’s presentation of Anne of Green Gables, the cast took their final bows, marking the end of an unforgettable performance. The heartfelt story, combined with the hard work and dedication of the students involved, created a product that was both faithful to the original story and unique in its interpretation.
The production’s success reflects the amazing cast, crew, and performing arts instructors that worked diligently to bring the story to life. The drama club’s dedication to its craft was evident in every area of the performance. Bear Necessity has set a high standard for future community productions.

At its foundation, the theater is a collective activity, and the success of Anne of Green Gables demonstrates the power of teamwork. The students participating in the production not only created an outstanding performance but also developed a sense of community and camaraderie that will inspire and uplift them in the future.