Classic ‘Anne of Green Gables’ opening at WTH

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Although many probably associate the title “Anne of Green Gables” with a children’s book, Karen Logue says it’s actually meant for all ages.

“The basic story is just as relatable as it was in 1908, when it was first written,” Logue says. And Thursday, the story hits West T. Hill Community Theatre’s stage for the production’s opening night.

“The story of the young orphan Anne Shirley seems to be loved by countless men, women and children across the globe,” Logue says. Since its publication, the novel has sold more than 50 million copies, and has been translated into 36 languages.

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“Anne of Green Gables” has been adapted into films, made-for-television movies and series, and even a musical, Logue points out. “I believe the timeless story of a young child’s struggles and joy resonates with all of us.”

Logue says the audition for the production brought out many — especially young girls.

“We needed a combination — different ages of children and adults,” Logue says. She’s always liked to work with casts that combine all ages, which she admits is challenging as well as fun.

Logue, who has directed the show before, says choosing the right actor to portray Anne is always the biggest challenge.

“That actress has to be young and flighty to start out the play, and then older with still the same passions and zest for life, as she ages in the second act,” she says. That’s tough pressure, Logue says, to put on any child actor.

“Lilla Walter has risen to the demands of the role. She is very young in years, but very mature in he acting abilities, and her desire to be molded and directed.”

Logue says it is hard to “age-up youngsters.”

“For example, a couple of our boys cannot get bigger in stature as the play progresses and their characters age, but we try and mature them in other ways, and that is a challenge to the directors,” she says.

There have also been several brand new folks, Logue says, who make up the cast. “And they’ve been a joy and pleasure to work and play with. The combination of veteran and new performers is what makes up community theater.”

Although the setting takes place on Prince Edward Island, most of the scenes are set in the Cuthbert Farmhouse — known as Green Gables — and in Anne’s one-room schoolhouse.

“An interior set is easy to block out, but switching back and forth from scene to scene in our space is always a challenge,” Logue says. “Hopefully, lighting and the actors will make it all believable for our audiences.”

And new this season for WTH, all of its children’s shows are extended from the regular six-night run to eight performances, adding Thursdays to the schedule line up.

“It has been our experience that shows with kids sell very well,” Logue says. “We wanted to make sure we offered enough opportunities for all interested parties to attend.”

Logue says the play is appropriate for all ages — “even children who can’t read well will be able to keep up with the storyline through this staged production.”

For Logue, directing the piece is somewhat personal.

“I love Anne, and aspire to be like her — even in my ‘old’ age. Her enthusiasm is enviable. In spite of all the cards she has been dealt in life, she approaches everything with a deep-seeded hope,” Logue says. “She believes in ‘happy endings,’ the golden rule and living life to its fullest.”

Logue says that is something we all aim for.

“Her dramatics and zest for life are admirable and attainable. I hope we can all learn from her experiences. I trust that audience members will leave with a delightful new spring in their step.”

The full cast of “Anne of Green Gables” is: Steve Sleeper, Jean Blair, Lilla Walter, Lori Shepherd, Pete Kendrick, Anne Sanders, Aidan Johns, Mike Crocetti, Grace Monsanto, Christina Sorrels, Danielle Burke, Henry Sheene, George McClure, Marley Scott and Laynee Greer.


“Anne of Green Gables” will be up at West T. Hill Community Theatre Thursday-Sunday, and March 21-24. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, visit or call the box office at (859) 319-0205.