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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

J.E.B. Stuart High School Anne of Green Gables

By • Nov 16th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

With the bright blue of the water below them, Anne and Gilbert sit together on the water without a word, only the light afternoon air between them, despite having so very much to say.

Anne of Green Gables is an internationally renowned work of literature that is been used as a key stepping-stone in lingual education in a multitude of countries. Originally published in 1908, the book grew in popularity yet did not become a play until the mid 1950’s and has been popularly reproduced to this day.

The plot revolves around Anne Shirley, a young girl accidently adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, an older brother and sister couple, who intended to adopt a boy to help with farm labor in the calm town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. Matthew quickly becomes enraptured by Anne and her over-imaginative yet highly intelligent characteristics and after some debate convinces Marilla to allow Anne to stay. The story then follows Anne’s many exploits including her friendship with the daughter of the neighboring Barry family, Diana, and Anne’s competitive nature in her schooling.

J.E.B. Stuart High School’s reproduction of the classic play was solid and met expectations. In using a pleasant five-piece orchestra, the play’s key plot developments were nicely accentuated by well-performed, appropriate music of the time period. The quintet only added to Rachel Frenkel‘s humorous characteristics and reactions making the character of Anne more fantastic and imaginative. Both of these, in combination with a nicely balanced and well-made set allowed the audience a variety of focal areas during the show.

Rachel Frankel did a good job of playing the creative and outgoing character that is Anne. Her character-to-character relationships were well portrayed by her body and facial expressions. With good reactions, it was easy to see her feelings about various characters and plot developments during the course of the production.

The character of Matthew, as played by Osama Ashour, adeptly showed the slow progression of aging and his reactions were in keeping with a man of his age. This allowed for good connections between his character and the numerous family and friends populating the show. Despite the lack of well-developed character in a minor few characters, the overall show contained a good consistent energy and carried the audience until the end.

The stage was fabulously developed and the crew did a first-rate job of creating a simple yet pleasant interior for Green Gables. The second level of the stage, used as Anne’s bedroom, added an interesting view and allowed for the audience’s better understanding of Anne’s character. Combined with appropriately period fitting props and costumes, it easily allowed the audience an understanding of Anne’s life at Green Gables.

All in all, J.E.B. Stuart High School performance of Anne of Green Gables was a commendable performance that made good use of an assortment of characters and staging techniques to portray the quiet and pleasant nature of Green Gables and Avonlea.

by Ethan Stackpole of McLean High School

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