The Charlottetown Festival has been presenting Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ for 55 consecutive summers and this season the 19th Anne Shirley, Emma Rudy, takes centre stage.
The musical follows PEI’s favourite red-headed orphan as she searches for love and belonging in her new home of Avonlea and Emma Rudy takes on this role for the first time this summer. The show officially opened for the summer on June 29 in the Homburg Theatre.
“I am in a world of excitement like nothing I’ve experienced before,” reflects Rudy. “I feel so grateful to be in such great company. Everyone on the team is so patient, open, and generous in the rehearsal hall, which makes learning this amount of material and being a new member of the company/production easy and refreshing every single day.”
The Charlottetown Festival cast arrived on PEI in late May and it’s been a whirlwind of rehearsals since then. Rudy is also in the ensemble for both Kronborg–The Hamlet Rock Musical and Mamma Mia!. But it’s been Anne that’s taken her focus.
“I’ve loved Anne dearly since childhood, and I’ve always imagined what it would be like to have the opportunity to play her, but it’s genuinely been the most rewarding role I’ve ever done,” adds Rudy. “The depth that Anne has is deeper than I had ever anticipated, so delving into her world has been incredibly eye-opening.”
It hasn’t been simply the role that has captured Rudy’s heart, but also the Island. It has been a month of many firsts, including her first visit to an ocean.
“From the moment I first arrived on PEI, I thought, “I’m home,” which is an entirely new experience for me. I’m someone who struggles at first to adjust to new settings, but coming here was completely different. The hospitality and warmth of all of the Islanders, the gorgeous scenery, and the incredible amount of pride the people here feel is truly infectious.”
Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ opens on June 29 at the Homburg Theatre and plays until September 28. The production is directed by Adam Brazier.