North Delta secondary is revisiting a Canadian classic for its spring production.
Stacy Inglin, North Delta Secondary drama teacher and director, said Anne of Green Gables is always a great story to reintroduce to new generations of young people. She explained the school alternates between musicals and plays for its annual spring production, and thought it was a fitting play for her cast this year.
“Honestly, it’s a story that I have loved since I was a kid,” Inglin told the Reporter during a rehearsal in early February. “I just thought I wanted to do something more classic and a little different.”
This year’s cast of veteran actors from Grades 11 and 12 brings a great degree of camaraderie to the production, she said, and the experienced entertainers tend to impart some of their knowledge to the younger actors.
“These students know how everything is run here and they care about the theatre, this production, about the school, and they care about the people here. It’s a real family,” Inglin said. “They are not gossipy and that sort of thing. It’s a really welcoming group.”
Aleena Mondor, a former student and past performer at NDSS, returned to lend Inglis a hand as this season’s assistant director in order to gather behind-the-scene experience before starting her education as a high-school drama teacher.
“Theatre for me was always a place where I felt I belonged and it was also where I had most of my friends,” Mondor said about her time at the school.
“After graduating, I had always kind of wanted to continue [with acting]. But then I thought, I had been acting since I was in Grade 8 and I wanted to see what the other side was like, to be on the other side of the stage.”
Being Inglin’s right hand was eye-opening for Mondor as to how much work goes into directing a play. As a performer, she said, she could only be involved in the parts which had to do with her role, but now she has the opportunity to experience the entirety of the production.
“We’re in charge of talking to producers, we’re in charge of deciding what kind of furniture and what kind of set we want,” she said. “It’s a lot of work. Honestly, I didn’t think it would be as much work coming in, but it’s very rewarding and it’s really cool to see the show comes together from the other side.”
Grade 10 student Katrina Krajsek plays the title character Anne Shirley, an orphan who is mistakenly sent to a Prince Edward Island farm (the titular Green Gables) instead of a boy, but is eventually accepted by her adoptive family as well as the community in the fictional town of Avonlea.
Krajsek had read the books previous to being cast, and really took to Anne’s evolution throughout the play, from a kid who does not like her red hair and craves love, to a young woman with a deeper understanding of the world around her.
“Anne views thing in that everything has the possibility to be completely wonderful, but then also devastating in a way,” Krajsek explained. “I have to keep in mind her perspective, and it kind of goes from her talking and rambling to a more meaningful dialogue as she grows up.”
As one of the younger cast members, Krajsek found it challenging to learn the many lines and partake in rehearsals while also keeping up with her schoolwork, but acting in the play has taught her how to use her time wisely.
“I am in everything but two scenes, so I am here every single day of the week until six o’clock,” Krajsek said. “I have to have good time management skills when it comes to doing my homework, but it’s all worth it in the end when you see everything come together.”
Though she has no definitive plans to become a professional actor, she said her experiences on stage could be helpful in her pursuit of a business degree.
The show kick off with matinee shows on Wednesday (Feb. 27), Thursday (Feb. 28), and Friday (March 1), with evening performances taking place March 6 – 8 at 7 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com/e/anne-of-green-gables-tickets-54670126821.