ANNE OF GREEN GABLESAdapted by Joseph Robinette. From the novel by L. M. Montgomery
Rockwall Community Playhouse
Director/Sound Design – Darlene Singleton
Stage Manager – Ashley Reeves
Asst. Stage Manager – Isabella Flournoy
Set Design – Joetta Currie, Tan Le, Emily Maxwell
Costume Design – Wiloni Darrington
Light Design – Steve Golin
Anne Shirley: Hannah Moore
Stationmaster/Mr. Sadler: Curtis Roughton
Matthew Cuthbert: Paul Burnam
Marilla Cuthbert: Johnna Leigh
Rachel Lynde: Linda Fletcher
Mrs. Blewett: Erin Ragsdale
Rev. Bentley: Aaron Moore
Mr. Phillips: Gene Fields
Prissy Andrews: Amelie Beegle
Charlie Sloane: Carson Davis
Jimmy Glover: Aiden Koop
Josie Pye: Sydney Hail
Ruby Gillis: Terra Tougaw
Tillie Boulter: Tori Rinker
Jane Andrews: Savanna Cagle
Bessie Wright: Eliza Lane
Carrie Sloane: Lily Finch
Diana Barry: Sydney Wheat
Miss Rogerson: Aprile Wicker
Jerry Buote: Jonathan Mejia
Mrs. Barry: Cathryn Harris
Minnie May Barry: Riley Ragsdale
Moody MacPherson: Mason Le
Gilbert Blythe: Holden Magee
Miss Susan Stacy: Campbell Smith
Mary Jo: Isabella Flournoy
Aunt Josephine: Mary Duncan
Rev. Allan: Robert Harris
Mrs. Allan: Emily Maxwell
Pres. of Queen’s Academy: Tan Le
Reviewed Performance: 4/7/2018
Reviewed by Jeri Tellez, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Director Darlene Singleton brings Anne and the Avonlea community to life beautifully in this entertaining and touching production. She has selected a great cast, some of whom convincingly play much older than their years. Her sound design was quite nice, including various songs interspersed throughout the presentation to help set the mood. I did notice a few songs that were a bit modern, but the arrangements were period, so it didn’t bother me. The sound effects were well-done.
Wiloni Darrington’s costumes were gorgeous, and all looked to be in line with the period. The transformation of Anne’s wardrobe was most noticeable and was simply elegant by the end. No credit was given to hair and wig design, but Anne’s transformation there was also stunning. The other hair/wigs were lovely, with one exception mentioned below.
The set, designed by Joetta Currie, Tan Le and Emily Maxwell, was much more detailed than it needed to be, which was nice. It was a bit confusing at first with the different areas not distinguished very well, but once they were introduced it seemed to flow well. The props designer (uncredited) did a lot of detailed work, and it was worth it. Everything was just right for the period and setting.
The lighting design by Steve Golin was inconspicuously pleasant. It drew the eye to the appropriate place but wasn’t noticeable enough to be a distraction. A few unfortunate miscues by the operator broke the transitions, but they weren’t terribly annoying.
As Anne, Hannah Moore did a fabulous job. Her metamorphosis from awkward orphan to confident young adult was inspiring. Moore was over the top when appropriate and understated when necessary. She carried the show well and had us rooting for her at every turn. Even her outbursts of temper were charming.
Paul Burnam did a marvelous job portraying Matthew Cuthbert. His quiet folksy demeanor was just the right touch and played nicely off Moore’s energy. Matthew was easy to fall in love with.
Marilla Cuthbert (Johnna Leigh), the stern but loving sister to Matthew, had a transformation of her own, slowly softening to Anne’s energy and enthusiasm. Hard as she tried to remain stoic, she just couldn’t help but allow Anne into her heart. I believe she had the most touching scene of the show toward the end (no spoilers here), and I think I got something in my eye about that time.
Sydney Wheat brought Diana Barry to life beautifully. She was the perfect lady (except one scene) and was just adorable. Her sadness as being separated from her best friend was evident with not one word spoken. Gilbert Blythe (Holden Magee) was cute as a bug. He politely kept his distance, but his attraction to Anne was obvious.
As Mr. Phillips, Gene Fields’ acting was good. He stuttered and misspoke when called for and was appropriately irritated when his attention was diverted from his interest. I was not a fan of his hair; it was obviously a toupee and much too shiny to go with his beard.
Aunt Josephine, played by Mary Duncan, was delightful. As do many who encounter our favorite red-head, she began very grumpy, but by the end was enamored with Anne’s enthusiasm and imagination.
I want to mention Campbell Smith, a 6th grader who played the teacher Miss Susan Stacy. I had no idea she was so young until I re-read the bios the next day. She did a spectacular job.
This presentation of the timeless L. M. Montgomery story is delightful, funny and touching, and worth the trip to Rockwall. Get your tickets now, as it closes soon. You don’t want to miss this.
For tickets and information go to www.RockwallCommunityPlayhouse.org or call 972-722-3399.