Olathe Civic Theatre Association To Present ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Next Month

Olathe Civic Theatre Association To Present ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Next Month

Up next at Olathe Civic Theatre Association (OCTA) is the poignant and funny tale of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. This play, an adaptation by Joseph Robinette of the beloved novel by L.M. Montgomery, will delight audiences of all ages November 3 through November 19.

This timeless story of the plucky Canadian orphan, Anne, depicts how she forges a new life when she is mistakenly sent to a middle-aged brother and sister who want to adopt a boy to help on their farm. Audiences will relive favorite moments from Anne's feuds with Gilbert, the cake disaster, and her adoration of Matthew. Bringing these moments to the stage is Heather Tinker, who returns to OCTA after acting in last season's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. This time, she'll direct a cast of over 25 local actors including up-and-coming youth actors. Tessa Luechtefeld takes on the role of Anne Shirley while Don Leonard portrays Matthew Cuthbert and Sally Schmucker portrays Marilla Cuthbert.

Rounding out this talented cast are: Sam Schaper (Station Master/Mr. Phillips/Jerry Buote/Rev. Allan/Mr. Sadler/President of Queen's Academy); Rachel Lynde (Karla Fennick); Jennifer Ward (Mrs. Blewett/Aunt Josephine); Ryan Foster (Rev. Bentley/Moody MacPherson); Maddie Huwe (Prissy Andrews, Josie Understudy); Casandra Clark (Miss Rogerson/Mrs. Allan); Julia Masterson (Diana Barry); Elise Bowles (School Girl/Mary Jo, Diana Understudy); Sarah Marvin, Melayna Murphy, Marra Luechtefeld (School Girls); Misti Robison (Mrs. Barry); Kendal Montgomery (Minnie May Barry); Rachel Montemayor (Josie Pye, Anne Understudy); Alexa Edmonds (Ruby Gillis); Collin Montgomery (Charlie Sloane); Lincoln Holmes (Jimmy Glover); Madelyn Baxter (Tillie Boulter); Addison Landes (Jane Andrews); Elliana Moore (Carrie Sloane); Megan King (Bessie Wright); Dentan Adams (Gilbert Blythe); and Hailey Burgess (Miss Susan Stacy).

When asked about the Anne... narrative, Tinker describes her fondness for a good story: "It was the first community show I was ever a part of as a high schooler. It holds a special place in my heart. It is fitting that it is my first community show to direct! I also felt it was timely with the new series on Netflix and it is a show that hasn't been produced much in the area." The stage version contains notable highlights from the story that many audience members remember as part of their childhood. "It is also a challenge to age children and adults approximately six to seven years in the course of a two hour play!" In fact, one of Tinker's favorite moments is at the end of the play when Anne is faced with a big decision. Anne and Marilla "... show such vulnerability and growth from the beginning of the story." The cast is excited to bring this heartwarming story to the OCTA stage.

Don't forget: opening night guests will be treated to a celebration with the cast and crew after the performance November 3! Additionally, a post-show talkback on Friday, November 10 will be led by Lindsey Weishar, an MFA Creative Writing candidate in Poetry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Weishar was recently awarded a grant to study author L.M. Montgomery on Prince Edward Island and will share insights from her work.

Tinker, who is Director of Theatre at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU), brings the following production staff: Emily Martin (Stage Manager); Steve Libick (Set Designer); Alexandra Bonar (Costume Designer); Blake Holden (Costume Crew); Dave Cox (Lights/Sound Designer); Lynsie Petersen (Props); Lindsay Boehmer, Alex Wilkerson (Set Construction); and Quinn North (Dramaturg).

Lastly, OCTA is bringing back its "Olathe, Helping Olathe" initiative begun during last season's holiday show. Audiences will have an opportunity to give to the Salvation Army of Olathe. Necessities such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, canned goods, and more will be collected during the run of the show and donated to local families.

Bring your family and friends to Anne of Green Gables at OCTA this November 3-19. Friday and Saturday night performances are held at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. To purchase tickets, visit www.olathetheatre.org. Subscribers can make reservations by calling the theatre reservation hotline at 913-782-2990 or by emailing tickets@olathetheatre.org.

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