Lexington theater offers ‘unexpected interpretation’ of ‘Anne of Green Gables’

By Natalie Szrajer
Posted 9/15/23

Village Square Theatre is putting a modern-day twist on a classic 19th century children’s novel.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Subscribe to continue reading. Already a subscriber? Sign in

Get 50% of all subscriptions for a limited time. Subscribe today.

You can cancel anytime.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Lexington theater offers ‘unexpected interpretation’ of ‘Anne of Green Gables’


Village Square Theatre is putting a modern-day twist on a classic 19th century children’s novel.

The Lexington community theater’s production of “Anne of Green Gables” is a comedy and features a changed ending, said director Kira Nessel.

“The biggest difference is the ending,” she told the Chronicle. “Anyone who knows the book will be shocked.”

Although originally set in the 19th century and then redone in the ’60s, Village Square Theatre is setting the play in 2023. The play still maintains the rural setting on a farm, and there are still many classic elements from the book in the modern adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s classic tale. Anne Shirley, the main character, is an orphan who is sent to a pair of siblings who had asked for a boy who could work on the farm.

For those unfamiliar with the novel or the Chadwicke play, Nessel said the vibes are similar to the classic literary piece “Little Women,” with some traits of another classic novel, “Jane Eyre.”

While Anne was originally an 11-year-old girl in the novel, Village Square is between 16 and 18 because of the script and the amount of monologues. The play spans roughly two years.

Nessel said the actors all have some sort of acting experience, noting they work well together, but the amount of monologues for Anne and other characters proved challenging and seemed monotonous at times. 

“The script was challenging because of the monologues,” the director said. “How do we take a monologue and keep it interesting? Some of the script called for Marilla sitting and knitting. How to get people up and around and moving on stage?”

Nessel said there will be actors performing tasks to keep them moving around while still entertaining and engaging with the audience. Since the play tends to be slow-moving, they intertwined additions to pick up the pace a bit. 

While the play can be a bit slow, Anne has more of a fast-paced personality, keeping the audience on their toes, watching her jump disasters and make mistakes in the coming-of-age tale.

According to Nessel, the Anne in her play “has spunk” and is “a little sassy.” 

“You can’t compare to [the original] ... it has its own style,” said Nesse, calling it an “unexpected interpretation of Anne.”

“Anne of Green Gables” is part of a season that runs through 2024. Village Square will be working on ideas for the upcoming 2024-25 season, and Nessel said people can go to villagesquaretheatre.com to suggest ideas. The theater is also accepting submissions from people interested in directing a play.

village square theatre, live theater lexington, columbia arts, things to do sc, anne of green gables


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here