Elevate Productions of Colorado Ballet Society, will be presenting the highly acclaimed musical version of Anne of Green Gables at the First Company Theatre, United Methodist Church, on 420 North Nevada Avenue, in five performances Friday, October 5th at 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, October 6th and 7th at 2 & 7pm.
“This is the same Guinness World Record version of Anne of Green Gables which is presented on Prince Edward Island in Canada, and is the longest running annual musical theatre production in the world,” shares Colorado Ballet Society founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “It’s still enjoying tremendous success in its fifty-fourth season, and we are confident that this production will gain even more fans and acclaim here in Colorado Springs.”
The original Anne of Green Gables musical is a Canadian classic written by Donald Harron, based on L.M. Montgomery’s classic novel and the music is by Norman Campbell. This adaptation of the story of an imaginative red-haired orphan searching for belonging is sure to tug at heartstrings and tickle funny bones.
“Anne fans of all ages will enjoy L.M. Montgomery's timeless story not only for the familiarity of their favorite sweet and spunky orphan, but for the beautiful music and incredible dancing,” claims Elevate Productions co-director/choreographer, Bethanny Jorenby. “The characters in this show are strong and multi-dimensional, captivating the audience with the feelings associated with loneliness, hope, fear of rejection, and, finally, acceptance and love. We can't wait to allow the audience to step into the emotion and story with us!”
Jorenby has been involved in the performing arts as a choreographer, director, casting assistant, and performer for dozens of shows. She has been on staff at Colorado Ballet Society for three years and was also the director of Elevate Productions debut production in 2017 of The Music Man which won an award from the Pikes Peak Arts Council.
“This production of "Anne of Green Gables-The Musical" is currently tied as one of my top-two favorite production experiences,” says Jorenby.
Besides delighting audiences with another favorite musical theatre classic, Jorenby hopes to spread awareness to a need in our community which she has a personal connection to.
“I love the way the show feels fresh and real, not saccharine, and balances the drama and trauma of Anne's life with some incredible humor and one-liners,” states Jorenby. “But, having been in foster care until I was adopted at almost six years old, I have a huge passion for orphan care. Anne's story isn't a story of yester-year. There are over 400,000 children currently in the United States foster care system, hundreds of which are right here in El Paso County. "Anne of Green Gables-The Musical" draws the emotions and needs of these children to the forefront and allows people to see these children and perhaps to be inspired to step up and serve these kids and teens. Just like Anne, these children are survivors who have found a will to live despite the ways they have been let down. Just like Matthew and Marilla, there are people in our community who have found and maybe will yet find, the courage to step up and care for these children and teens. My hope is that people in the audience will be inspired to see not only the story of Anne, but the story behind the character of Anne and to walk away asking the questions, "What can I do? How can I be involved?"
Jorenby recommends ways for community members to support the kids and adults involved in the foster care system. “Besides becoming a foster parent, there are local organizations who help foster kids experience summer camp, mentoring opportunities, or to provide a respite break for those parents Gilbert Blythe and Avonlea boys go fishing L-R John Nogle, Daniel Schurz, Jesse Worf, Jamisen Barrett fostering on a daily basis. I highly encourage people to check out Royal Family KIDS, www.icareaboutorphans.org, and Hope and Home for more information here in Colorado Springs.”
“This is a come-twice kind of show you don't want to miss,” encourages Jorenby. “The production is exceptional quality, uplifting, family-friendly, and quick-paced. Matinee options make for a perfect firsttheater experience for young children, and adults will walk away impressed with the depth of talent in our community.”
Thirteen-year-old Grace Davis is cast in the title role of the production as, Anne Shirley.
“I love the journey Anne takes in this show,” shares Davis. “She really does go through a lot, but in the end, it is a very fun, exciting, and loveable story.”
Davis has been a student at Colorado Ballet Society for a year and has been featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as Jemima Potts and is also cast as one of the Clara’s in the Colorado Youth Ballet’s 2018 A Colorado Nutcracker which will be performed at the Pikes Peak Center this December.
“I think anyone who has grown up loving Anne of Green Gables and those who are new to the story too, will fall in love with this show,” says Davis. “It is very big on the ideas of family love, acceptance, and living your life to the fullest. This production really brings the message of acceptance home. No matter who you are or where you are from, you will be touched by this truly beautiful show. Come see Anne of Green Gables-you won’t want to miss it!”
“The power and redeeming love of family and community is what this production is really about,” says co-director/acting coach, Annaliese Higgins. “A family that isn't even related by blood, in a community that doesn't readily accept her at first, is where Anne finds solace and healing from the love of a brother and sister who risk a great deal to bring her into the fold of Green Gables and Avonlea. This choice changes everyone in Avonlea. Love is not just found by Anne from the Cuthberts, but also by the Cuthberts from Anne. Then, of course, you have the bosom friend Diana, and the tumultuous relationship with Gilbert. Yet, the power of love is timeless and vital for us to remember that it is not just the acts of romantic love that bring joy, but also the love of family and friends which can help carry us through life's heartaches and joys.”
Who: Elevate Productions
What: Anne of Green Gables features 40 local performers
When: Five performances, Friday, Oct 5 th at 7pm; Saturday, Oct 6 th at 2pm & 7pm; and Sunday, Oct 7 th at 2pm & 7pm
Where: First Company Theatre at United Methodist Church 420 North Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs
Tickets: $18 Adults, $12 Children 12 and under and Seniors available online
Figure 1: Diana Barry (Kate Simpson) and Anne Shirley (Grace Davis) at the Ice Cream Social | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 2: Gilbert Blythe and Avonlea boys go fishing L-R John Nogle, Daniel Schurz, Jesse Worf, Jamisen Barrett | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 3: Avonlea friends Summer dance L-R Lauryn Mechelse, SarahRose Lorrig, Molly McHugh, Elizabeth Worf | PC: Kayla Coburn
Figure 4: Marilla Cuthbert (Paula Higgins), Anne Shirley (Grace Davis), and Mrs. Spencer (Mary Pearsall) | PC: Kayla Coburn