Confederation Centre of the Arts recently announced the latest actor taking on the legacy of PEI’s iconic redhead in Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™, one of two mainstage shows at this summer’s Charlottetown Festival.
The titular role will be played by Kelsey Verzotti, a Calgary-born, Toronto-based performer. She has entertained audiences across the country in productions at the Shaw Festival, Young People’s Theatre, The Musical Stage Company, Theatre Calgary, and more. Verzotti was also one of the top 10 contestants on the CBC reality talent competition Over the Rainbow (2012).
“The opportunity to play Anne means so much to me,” says Verzotti. “She is a character who lives so presently in the moment while challenging her environment and the people around her, and she always speaks her truth.”
Verzotti is no stranger to the story of Anne Shirley, having previously played the character’s best friend and kindred spirit Diana Barry in a 2019 production at Thousand Islands Playhouse in Ontario. The 2022 Charlottetown Festival will have the role of Diana performed by Emma Rudy, who returns after playing the titular character in the Festival’s 2019 production as well as the 2020 broadcast special Feelin’ Mighty Proud!
“We traditionally discover new performers to play Anne every three years, and, like the many Annes before her, Kelsey is exceptional,” says Adam Brazier, artistic director of performing arts at Confederation Centre.
The show’s ensemble features a mixture of Festival alumni and fresh faces. Laurie Murdoch and Islander Marlane O’Brien, who were originally cast in the cancelled 2020 production, will play reluctant adopters Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, with Justin Eddy as foe turned friend Gilbert Blythe.