OF GREEN GABLES
Created by the Cast of Kindred Spirits
Under the Direction of Shelby Lewis
In the inaugural full-time, dedicated residency with Traverse City’s Parallel 45 Theatre, Of Green Gables was a devised piece of theatre created by alumna Shelby Lewis and her intrepid cast of ‘kindred spirits.’ The work was inspired by the novel “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery and was the only second semester Theatre production to receive a performance prior to the students having to leave campus because of Covid-19. This is a recording of that singular experience that was recorded and edited by Interlochen’s amazing marketing team. We hope you enjoy and thank you.
Trigger Warning: This production contains references to suicide, mental illness, and childhood trauma. The ensemble has been thoughtful in attempting to create an atmosphere of sensitivity while presenting these experiences in service of the text.
Anne Shirley is at her essence a mix of epic wonder, fierce curiosity, and unrelenting hope. Her blatant optimism and large feelings have captured the hearts of generations–including a new generation through this production. No one in the cast knew the story of “Anne of Green Gables” before beginning this process. With fresh eyes and open hearts, this group of kindred spirits has innovated pieces of the classic novel using a European choreographic theatre technique while drawing from relevant personal experiences in their own lives. The ensemble was also compelled by the quietly tragic existence led by the book’s author Lucy
Maud Montgomery–who preferred to be called Maud, “without an E.” She was married to a man afflicted with a psychological disease, actively resisted the systemic oppression of women in the late Victorian Era, and personally battled chronic depression. In the United States, mental illness affects one in five people, and 50% of mental illness begins by age 14. Through this production, we strived to honor the journey of Maud and others going through similar challenges while maintaining the presence and potency of Anne’s enduring light. The poetry with which she sees the world has truly changed ours. By providing a topical context for the pastoral novel, we can take comfort in knowing we are all of Green Gables.