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RiverStage to present ‘Anne of Green Gables’

LEWISBURG — For the second attraction of its 2019-20 season, RiverStage Community Theatre moves from a classic radio and television show (“Our Miss Brooks”) to a classic novel “Anne of Green Gables.”

RiverStage will be one of the first theaters in the country to premiere a brand new 2018 adaptation of this beloved children’s classic.

“Anne of Green Gables” has 7:30 p.m. performances on Nov. 8-9, 15-16, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Nov. 17 at the Greenspace Center, 815 Market St.

Although they were expecting a boy to help with the daily chores, a farmer and his sister end up taking in Anne Shirley, a high-spirited teenage girl, which the orphanage sends to them by mistake.

With a bit of spunk and feisty charm, Anne sets out to win over all the doubters. Her wild imagination to find a place that she can truly call home causes Anne to embark on an unlikely journey, which is the theme of this heart-warming classic story.

The L.M. Montgomery novel was adapted by Mary Collins Barile, with RiverStage’s production of “Anne of Green Gables” to be directed by Virginia L. Zimmerman.

Zimmerman, a professor of English at Bucknell University, noted that, “The story is very dear to many readers, young and old, and I believe our production will honor that special relationship between a reader and a beloved book.”

Set at a farm in Prince Edward Island in the late 1880’s, this new adaptation is told through the eyes of a grownup Anne as she reminisces with her own daughter, and features a variety of the most memorable scenes from the original book series.

Heading the cast is Ramsey Uhter as the orphan girl Anne Shirley. Jove Graham, RiverStage’s president, portrays the farmer Matthew Cutberth, and Melissa Fast plays his stern sister Marilla.

Emily Bowen plays the adult Anne, with Kiya Hitchinson as her daughter, Nan.

The large cast also includes: Lily Wirth, Lindsey Miller, Sarah Bell, Charlene Rineer, Anne Griffin, Ashli Starks, Peter Zerbe, Stefan Eisenhower, Caycee Kalinoski, Orissa Reed, Rachael Ryu and Taija Figard .

“There is something in Anne which appeals to all of us, which is that things are tough, but keep moving,” said playwright Mary Collins Barile. “She never gives up. Characters like Anne are very important, they remind us our lives are important and filled with drama and joy and pain and exuberance.”

Graham noted that although the story may be familiar, this fresh version is filled with humor, warmth and colorful characters, and is appropriate for all ages.

For more information, call 570-989-0848 or visit riverstagetheatre.org.

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