Anne & Gilbert
Book and Lyrics by Jeff Hochhauser
Music and Lyrics by Bob Johnston and Nancy White
Based on the novels Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
Director- Debbie Keyt
Musical Director- Rhonda Vaughan
Choreographer – Brontee French
Designer and Producer- Lynda French
Auditions Sunday 2nd February 2020
82 Wells Road Beaumaris
Set in the village of Avonlea and at Redmond College in Halifax, Anne and Gilbert follows Anne’s journey to young adulthood and her romance with high school academic rival, Gilbert Blythe. Gilbert is in love with Anne, but she seems to be immune to his declarations of love. In the end, Anne realizes what everyone else already knows: that Gilbert is the love of her life.
Act 1 is set in Avonlea, a small village on Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes in 1881.
Act 2 is mostly set at Redmond University in Halifax in 1882.
“Anne and Gilbert is a marvel.” – The Toronto Star
“When the curtain fell, I was disappointed to see it all end.” – Variety
“Anne and Gilbert [is a] treasure of a show. A timeless and eloquent love story filled with charming characters and beautiful music.” – Lennie Macpherson, Guardian
“It is funny, charming, and musically and visually sensational. Writers, Jeff Hochhauser, Nancy White, and Bob Johnstone…have succeeded in grand fashion. Refreshingly modern, Anne & Gilbert is magically artistic, and oh so romantic!” – The Buzz
“Heart-warming, tear-inducing, thoroughly satisfying” – The Halifax Chronicle Herald
Friday 22nd May 8 pm, Saturday 23rd May 8 pm, Sunday 24th May 2 pm,
Friday 29th May 8 pm, Saturday 30th May 8 pm, Sunday 31st May 2 pm,
Thursday 4th June 8 pm, Friday 5th June 8pm, Saturday 6th June 8 pm
Monday and Wednesday evenings 7.30- 10.30 pm
Sunday afternoons 2.00 – 5.00 pm
Anne Shirley– Stage age 19-20. Anne of Green Gables is a beautiful, imaginative, fiery redhead who is charming, impulsive, charismatic, devoted and very intelligent. Wise beyond her years about everything and everybody except Gilbert. Vocal range Mezzo Soprano G3 – F5
Gilbert Blythe- Stage age 20. The best looking and smartest young man in Avonlea. He is charming, dashing, kind, caring, funny and deeply in love with Anne and determined to win her love. Vocal range Baritone / Tenor B2 – F#4
Marilla Cuthbert- Stage age 50’s. Anne’s guardian. She is honest, hardworking, loyal and somewhat cantankerous. Although easily irritated, her years with Anne have brought out her warmth and humour. Vocal range- Alto
Mrs. Rachel Lynde- Stage age 50’s. Avonlea’s busybody and gossip. A loveable know- it -all and Marilla’s lifelong, dear friend. Vocal range- Alto
Josie Pye- Stage age 20. As close to you can get to a bad girl in Avonlea. Sassy, funny and good-hearted underneath her bluster. Vocal range Mezzo Soprano.
Philippa Gordon- Stage age 20. A beautiful and sophisticated if somewhat giddy heiress. Vocal range Mezzo Soprano
Moody Spurgeon MacPherson- Stage age 20. A goofy suitor of Anne’s who wants to be a minister. The actor in this role must play Celtic style on the fiddle/violin.
Roy Gardner- Stage age 22. A handsome and very wealthy college boy. Roy is accustomed to getting everything he wants and he wants Anne.
Diana Barry- Stage age 19. Anne’s bosom friend and kindred spirit. Diana is optimistic, hopeful, sweet, adorable, loyal, devoted and very down-to-earth. The actress who plays Diana will double as a Redmond Student. Vocal range – Mezzo Soprano G3 – D5
Paul Irving- Stage age 13. Anne’s favourite pupil. Polite and very smart and desperate to fit in
Anthony Pye- Stage age 13. Anne’s least favourite pupil who is usually in trouble.
Mr Sloane – Stage age 50’s. Good, honest and respectable, but also known to be disagreeable. The actor who plays Mr Sloane will also play a ‘starchy’ head-waiter, the Reverend, Station Master and Professor.
Alec and Alonzo- Two rich, spoiled and indulged college boys in their 20’s and who are both madly in love with Philippa. Good comedy roles. One actor will double the role of Diana’s fiancée Fred Wright and the other an Avonlea pupil.
Avonlea & Redmond Students- to be played by teenage performers 13 years and older
Auditions will be 10 minutes in duration and each audition hopeful will be required to:
- Sing a ballad or upbeat musical show tune in the style of the show or character you wish to audition for that shows off your vocal capabilities
- Be familiar with and convincingly deliver one of the monologues below for the character you wish to audition for
- Auditionees will be shown a short dance sequence to learn and perform. Please bring character shoes or lace up dress shoes for gents.
- The actor auditioning for Moody should bring his violin to the audition and play a piece of his choice.
We are looking for a cast who are talented, passionate, enthusiastic, committed, diligent, reliable, punctual, prompt and loyal performers who love being part of a cohesive theatrical team and will work hard with devotion to bring the beautiful love story of Anne & Gilbert to life in all its marvellous splendour.
Please contact Director Debbie Keyt with any inquiries- [email protected]
WHY do they do it? Why does half of Avonlea insist that Gilbert and I are in love? Well I am sorry to disappoint you and over half of Avonlea, but Gilbert is a good chum. That’s all! And I’m not blushing and if I am it doesn’t mean I’m in love, it means I’m embarrassed. I could never love Gilbert Blythe.
I am very grateful to him of course, what he did was a very generous thing- he gave up the teaching position here in Avonlea so I could be closer to Marilla, but honestly, he is so egotistical sometimes and he thinks he knows exactly what a girl wants to hear but he doesn’t’ have the SLIGHTEST IDEA. There is more chance of me marrying THAT TREE than Mr Gilbert Blythe.
Gilbert! What are you doing?! Don’t say it Gilbert- I beg of you, please don’t say it. If you’re about to ask me to become your wife I just can’t and you’ll spoil everything. I don’t care for you in that way. I do care for you a great deal as a friend. But I don’t love you Gilbert. It’s impossible for me to give you any hope and I can never love you in that way and I beg of you never to speak of this to me ever again.
Gilbert has just given me these letters…that belonged to my parents. I don’t know what to say, and that would be a first…. (Reading a letter) To Miss Bertha Willis. Her maiden name was Willis! Well! ‘My dear Miss Willis’ they must have just met. ‘My dear Miss Willis, it’s hard to explain who I was before I met you but I thought I was alone and you thought you were too. I had good friends and a very nice life, but I never thought I’d have a wife, but then we met and we danced and I knew that love was possible and I never thought that could be.
(Anne picks up another letter and starts reading) ‘Walter darling, I hope I’m not being too foolish, writing you a letter while you sleep so beautifully not three inches away from me and perhaps I’ll get to say these things to you a hundred thousand more times (Anne is devastated to realise the letter is a goodbye) But I feel my strength slipping further and further away. I truly don’t expect to see the sunrise again. You’re so ill yourself and I haven’t the heart to wake you especially since there’s truly nothing to be done.’
(Anne picks up one final letter and is very emotional) ‘To Anne from Dad. Dear Anne, it’s hard to explain who we were with you here on my knee and I know you’re going to blossom and grow and we wanted to see that, but unfortunately that is not meant to be and God has changed his mind. Anne please listen well and I want to tell you a heart is earned and I’ve learnt that love is possible. I love my daughter and my wife and I hope that love is stronger than my life…’
All right Anne- let me have it. I went behind your back and I didn’t consult you first. But I know if I had asked you before I did it you would have said ‘don’t you dare under any circumstance’. But hear me out, I can come home from White Sands every night because I have a horse. You, rather appropriately, only have a mule!’ Now please don’t yell at me as I think it was rather a generous thing to do on my part and I know you won’t be altogether pleased especially as it’s me who’s coming to your rescue.
Anne, please don’t be cross and hear me out as I would like to make a wager. I’ll bet my lucky gold piece that my Dad gave me when I was sixteen just as his Dad gave to him that I will propose marriage to you at some future moment of my choosing. If you say ‘no’ you have my word of honour, I will NEVER ask you again and I’ll give you my lucky gold piece too. All I want in return Anne is your heart. That’s all I’ve ever wanted’
(Gilbert drops to one knee) Anne there is something I have to ask you and things have gone on like this long enough. Anne, I love you, you know I do. I- I can’t tell you how much. Will you promise that one day you will be my wife? I know you care for me and all I’m asking is that you can give me some hope that one day you will care for me as much as I care for you….
(Gilbert hands Anne a small parcel) Let me give you your birthday present. I had to make a courier trip to Bolingbroke last week and I had some free time before my train back and I did a little detective work. The house you were born in, 235 Belvedere Lane has been torn down. The lot was owned by an old man across the street and he remembered the Shirley’s- he even remembered you. He said you were the loudest baby he ever heard. I told him you haven’t changed much. He still had these letters left behind after your Mum and Dad passed on. One is from your Dad to your Mum. One is from your Mum to your Dad and the last is from your Dad…to you. Happy birthday Anne.
Reading a letter she’s written to Anne
Dear Anne, the weather’s been fine since you left and not a trace of frost in the milking pail. I have to say, I’m glad Rachel’s here and who’d have thought we’d get on so well.
Anne there’s something I’ve been holding back, it’s a very old tale and I think it’s time to tell.
As you know I’m not one to give advice about matters of the heart but when I think of you and Gilbert, old wounds open up. Once upon a time I was young like you and I know it’s hard for you to picture me as the young ingenue. There was a man, you could call him my beau and I made him leave.
We had bitter words and I forget what they were now and I was so full of pride that I showed him the door. My tongue was sharp and I hurt him so and all my life I’ve wished things were different, but my stubborn pride overshadowed all else. Open your eyes my dear Anne and see the man who is waiting for you. He loves you and he is your friend. I know you probably won’t listen to my dusty old story and I know it’s dated now but let me tell you stubbornness can lead to a very bad end.
Don’t make the mistakes I did and don’t let Gilbert slip away, if he weds another I promise you it will break your heart and you’ll never stop paying for foolish mistakes. You’re meant to be together and everyone can see that. I beg you not to turn his love aside because it will melt like fallen snow. Believe me when I say Gilbert is destined for you my dearest Anne.
Anne of Green Gables- the fiery little red head is now Miss Shirley! Anne, let me give you a very good piece of advice you have to whoop one of your pupils as an example. The first one that acts up, you show your class a whooping they won’t forget. Our teachers always whooped a student on the first day of school, you ask Marilla, she’ll tell you. It was usually one of the Pye’s but come to think of it one year it was Marilla herself! She was passing love notes with her beau, John Blythe. But Anne Shirley, never you mind about what’s none of your business. You stop in the woods and lay in a supply of switches. Spare the rod and spoil the child. I know you are a stubborn girl Anne and we’ll see, some day you’ll get riled up. People with hair like yours are desperate apt to get riled. You mark my words!
Hello Mr Blythe. Hello Gilbert. Hello Gil. I just happened to be passing by and it’s so nice to find you here and in fact it’s quite a little thrill. There you are giving me the eye, why you’re making me blush. You’re looking very handsome today my old pal. I always feel such joy seeing you.
Gilbert why don’t you face facts, you’re pining for Anne Shirley and she doesn’t care a fig for you. I could erase that sad look on your face. Let’s just say that I’m the kind of girl that would do what Anne would never do…
Let me introduce myself, but I’m sure you already know who I am as my reputation always proceeds me. I am Philippa Gordon, but you can call me Phil and as you know I am obviously the richest girl on campus. I hail from Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia and the only fun in town is me and I’m here!
I know too much about my family and Daddy and my brothers were dead set against me going to university. Somehow they have the idea that I’m boy mad, but then when I won top of the class in my senior year, well what else could Daddy do? Say, did you happen to notice the two boys who’ve been hound-dogging me all day? They are not fortune hunters, mind you they are both from top notch families and they followed me all the way from home and enrolled at Redmond and everything. I don’t love either of them, in fact I couldn’t love anybody: it isn’t in me. Being in love makes you a perfect slave I think- don’t you?!
Moody Spurgeon MacPherson
Anne, can I talk to you please and I don’t want you to say anything until I’m finished. Anne, everyone in Avonlea says you are going to end up Mrs Gilbert Blythe and I know you don’t believe that and I believe you. No one else does, but I do! So prove it Anne by saying you’ll be Mrs Moody Spurgeon MacPherson AND before you say no…I want you to know that I’m going to join the ministry and that is a very respectable vocation and what could be more respectable than being a Reverend’s wife?
I’m also giving up playing the fiddle because it isn’t dignified. I have to be dignified if I’m going to be the next minister here in Avonlea. Think of it Anne, you, me and a manse!
Pardon me Miss and please forgive my boldness, but I see that you are not the least prepared for the downpour that is about to start and here we are. Here are you and here am I and may I offer my umbrella? You look very familiar in fact I’ve seen you laughing with your friends on campus, but how could that be, because how could a scholar look SO lovely.
It seems to me that your eyes are like starlight and of course I am not a poet but your smile is like heaven. Oh you must think me so ill-mannered because I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Roy. Roy Gardner and you are Anne Shirley. Anne with an ‘e’.
I know you come here often and I’d love to take you dancing. I feel I’ve know you such a long time. May I be so bold as to ask you if I may walk you to your door?
My darling bosom friend Anne, more than half of Avonlea knows, if not all of Avonlea that Gilbert Blythe is in love with you and you are in love with him. Look at you, you’re blushing and you always blush when anyone ever mentions Gilbert’s name and the sooner you admit that you are in love the happier you will be.
Anne, I’ve also been thinking about your beautiful short story, ‘Averil’s Atonement’ and I think you should enter it in the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Literary Competition. Before you object you could slip a word or two into your story about the product as it really is excellent baking powder and I believe it’s my favourite story you’ve ever written and so truly romantic all except for the part about Averil being an old maid for 60 years until she meets her dream man. That might be alright for you as you are always going to be divinely slim. I’m going to be fat. My mother is fat and every single one of my aunt’s is fat too. There is nothing romantic about a fat old maid.
Anne you really wouldn’t wait 60 years for some ideal man- Gilbert seems like an awfully good compromise to me!
My name is Paul Irving and I come from the Boston States. History is my best subject and my favourite poet is Yeats. My grandmother keeps telling me “Paul remember you’re in Avonlea now and people aren’t quite as outspoken here as in America”. Grandmother has obviously never met you Miss Shirley.
Avonlea is so different from Boston, but it’s where my Father grew up and my poor little Mother is buried here.
Miss Shirley says ‘Paul is so sweet’ (mimicking) Paul is SO sweet! Silly teacher’s pet. I’ll teach him a lesson. I’ll put my pet snake Napoleon in Miss Shirley’s desk and blame it on Paul. That’s what I’ll do. She’ll never know it was me and my Mother said Miss Shirley would never whip a pupil because ‘she wouldn’t sink so low to strike a child’. That’s what I’ll do and he won’t be the teacher’s pet anymore!
Mr Blythe I am extremely disappointed in you, leaving Avonlea in the lurch only one week before school starts. Where is your loyalty? I can’t believe because the White Sands School has offered you substantially more money you cannot afford the pleasure of teaching in Avonlea, even if you do have to save the tuition to attend university next year. What are we to do? I know you said Anne Shirley is available and Rachel Lynde says I am being ‘Sloanish’ if I don’t hire her, so I’ve made my decision. Gilbert! You’re fired! Is that un-Sloanish enough for you Rachel Lynde?
Head Waiter at Redmond- WHAT is going on around here? McPherson, you’re fired. Oh I didn’t see you there Miss Gordon. McPherson, I was just kidding.
Blythe! I’ve never had a problem with you before! Take care of your tables now or you’re fired! Mr. McPherson, you’re doing a great job
Alec & Alonzo
I ‘m madly in love with Philippa Gordon and intend to make her my wife. She is beautiful, rich, kind, wise witty and alluring. She is also cruel, blind, mean, torturous and utterly mesmerising. I worship the ground she walks on and I’m totally faithful and loyal to her and stick to her like glue- why I even gave up my own hopes and ambitions to follow her here to Redmond College. My heart aches and yearns for her and my eyes burn for her. What is a fellow to do?!
Avonlea & Redmond Pupils
Harvest is ended and summer is gone and everything in the landscape speaks of autumn. The sea is roaring hollowly in the distance, the fields are bare and sere, scarfed with golden-rod, the brook valley beneath Green Gables is overflowing with asters of ethereal purple, and the Lake of Shining waters is blue-blue- blue; not the changeful blue of spring, nor the pale azure of summer, but a clear steadfast serene blue, as if the water were past all moods and tenses of emotion and has settled down to a tranquillity unbroken by fickle dreams.