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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
The Observer


SMC theater program to showcase ‘Anne of Green Gables’ musical this weekend

The Saint Mary’s College program in theater will present their spring musical, “Anne of Green Gables,” this weekend April 12-14. The musical will be directed by SMC alum Eva Cavadini ‘12 and tickets are free to tri-campus students. The Friday and Saturday show will begin at 7:30 p.m., while the Sunday show will begin at 2:30 p.m..

Originally a book, “Anne of Green Gables” follows the story of a young, orphaned girl named Anne who was mistakenly sent to middle-aged siblings Marilla and Mathew Cuthbert on their family farm, named Green Gables. 

Sophomore Delaney Nold will play Anne, in her second lead role in a Saint Mary’s theater production. She stated she felt “humbled” by earning her role as Anne and is grateful to be a part of a story that holds much sentimental value to her. 

“When I auditioned, it wasn't necessarily that I only wanted to be a certain role. It was just the fact that I just was so in love with … Anne of Green Gables. I grew up reading the book and watching the film series with my grandma at sleepovers and everything like that, so it has a lot of sentimental value to me,” Nold said. 

Senior Julia Zusi, the music director for the musical, helped Nold portray Anne’s character through song as well, which has helped bring her role to life.

“[Anne’s] a very important figure and a literary icon, and I think that she's very human. So getting to connect with the audience in that way and having just a moment for them to just look at Anne and to hear the story through song, I think is really beautiful,” Nold said. 

Sophomore Delaney Nold will play the role of Anne, a young, orphaned girl mistakenly sent to live with the Cuthberts.

Senior Natalie Biegel will play Anne’s caregiver and mother-figure, Marilla Cuthbert. As a theater and sociology major, she plans to pursue a career in theater education, lighting, design or performance after graduation. 

Biegel has participated in theater since the age of six and in the College’s theater program in various ways since 2020. She stated playing Marilla in the production, while meaningful, isn’t what was most important to her. 

“It's not about the size of [the role], it's about the impact that the theater department has had on me, and I think that's much more special than the role that I'm playing. Of course, I love being involved and I love the role that I am playing, but the show and the community and the personal growth are much more important to me than the role,” Biegel said. 

Freshman Grace Tudor will play Anne’s love interest, Gilbert this weekend. Tudor is a nursing major and has participated in theater productions since fifth grade. Tudor said she felt delighted to earn the role of Gilbert and challenge herself in playing a male character. 

“[Gilbert’s] just a teenage boy. He has a lot of energy. But it was really difficult for a little bit to try to figure out what guys do,” Tudor said. “I had to really think for a second, but I think I get to embrace some of my femininity, but also mix it in with Gilbert … just trying to embrace or experiment with male mannerisms has been fun.” 

Freshman Grace Tudor will play Anne's love interest, Gilbert, in the musical. Tudor is practicing her lines on stage during Wednesday night's dress rehearsal.

President Conboy will also make a guest appearance in the musical during the Saturday and Sunday performances. 

Junior nursing major Fionnuala “Fi” Criswall-Carder served as the stage manager for this production.

“A stage manager is basically the advocate for your actors and the advocate for directors to actors,” Criswall-Carder said. “Obviously, they can both do both jobs, and they're very capable of doing so. But it's just helpful, which is one of the reasons why I really like stage management, because it reminds me a lot of being a nurse, which is a combination of my two passions.”

Criswall-Carder said she enjoys not only the organization and creation aspects of acting as stage manager, but also the tight-knit community formed during such a short period of time. She remembered one of her favorite moments from rehearsal she believes sums up her love for the theater community.

“We had a messed up cue a couple of days ago, when we were figuring them out, and the whole cast just kind of erupted into laughter,” Criswall-Carder recounted. "Everyone was tired and it was just this wonderful bonding moment that was really cute.” 

Beigel said her favorite moments within the musical is one of the last. As her character, Marilla, looks out to her family’s farm and says goodbye, Beigel said she thinks of the moment as herself saying goodbye to the Saint Mary’s theater community. 

“I think about it every time I go on stage, and I'm like, ‘Wow, this is really special that I have gotten to experience so much as a performer here in just four short years,’” Biegel said. “I've grown a lot as a person, but also in my craft, and I think that moment of just silence in gratitude really sums up my four years here. Just standing on stage, taking it all in and taking my final emotional bow.”

Criswall-Carder encourages everyone to come and watch the show and support the students who participated in the production. 

“I'm very, very proud of everyone; they're amazing. My cast is amazing, my crew is amazing, my directors are amazing, my designers are amazing, truthfully. [...] So please come see all their hard work,” Criswall-Carder said.