Maple Ridge Christian School takes on much ‘expectation’

Maple Ridge Christian School is presenting the classic story Anne of Green Gables May 8 and 9.

Maple Ridge Christian School is presenting the classic story Anne of Green Gables May 8 and 9.

Students from grades 8 to 12 are participating in the production, which includes a multi-tiered set, a horse and carriage, a raft and row boat.

The Canadian classic is further enhanced by video projections, with photographs from Prince Edward Island, where the story takes place in the early 1900s.

With such a popular story comes a lot of pressure to perform, said drama teacher and director Reg Parks, and the students have done a tremendous job taking up the task.

“Telling this story comes with a lot of expectation”, said Parks. “Almost everyone has an idea of how it should be done as they have lived with Anne for most of their lives. She is the most famous Canadian in history.”

Jenna Morrison, a Grade 11 student, tackles the energetic role of Anne. She said Park’s direction has helped her understand the role of Anne.

“Mr. Parks told me that I should be exhausted by the end of the first act because Anne feels everything, and is either going up or coming down from her experiences.

Parks said the character Gilbert Blythe  is played with gusto by of Brodie Alexander,  whose cry of “carrots, carrots” in reaction to Anne’s unique hair colour puts him in her bad books for almost the entire play.

Parks is also leaning on Laura Cramer as the assistant director to help with the show. Cramer is an alumni of MRCS and the Theatre Arts program.

“It’s so fun to be back helping out on such a great piece of Canadian culture,” said Cramer, whose goal is to eventually be a drama teacher.

The play has special meaning for Parks. Anne of Green Gables takes the drama teacher back his first year of teaching at MRCS in 1999, when the school mounted a different version of the story.

“That’s the enduring joy of this story,” he said. “The kids in this production weren’t even born yet when we last put it on”.

• Showtimes are May 8 at 7:30 p.m. and May 9 at 2 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children 13 and under. Tickets are available at the school or by calling 604-465-4442.