From the Director’s Desk – Seeing Anne again for the First Time

Emma Sandziuk as Anne Shirley

For me I think Anne was the first strong female I encountered in Canadian Literature.  I remember my mom reading this book to myself and my sister as a young boy.  I think because the material had such a profound effect on me, every detail of that summer is etched clearly onto my brain: the hot days, the evenings of cool air, and the long afternoons in the shade of one tree or another.  Anne reaches out from the pages of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s creation and invites us to consider that our story is what is in part, because of the contributions of headstrong girls who question our rules, who throw temper tantrums, who speak out of turn, and who create friendships that endure.

Emma & Gemma Varty (Diana Barry)

Emma Sandziuk takes on the role of Anne in our production of Anne of Green Gables.  She embodies so much of Anne’s wit and strength in her performances, it’s uncanny to me.  I watch in wonderment as she rehearses with her cast-mates and leads them on a journey.  Part of this process is about the material, yes, but I think when Emma chose to accept this role and dove headlong into the work of it, she lit a spiritual fire that we can see rekindled in each performance as she becomes Anne.


This is how Anne endures.  As we encounter her on the pages of a book, onscreen in movies and television series, and now live onstage (which is think is the strongest connection of all), we should understand the power of that longevity.  This is what Canada is made of.  Look at the female influences in your life – think of how their stories began.  See them as young girls, maybe seeking a home, growing up at school, creating friendships, falling in love, dealing with loss, taking a stand, refusing to give up. Appreciate their strength and know that women like Anne, Marilla, Diana and Rachel change the world everyday.

When you watch Emma and the cast of Anne of Green Gables create the story for you onstage, I hope you can see yourself in that story, and see a little of Anne in those around you.

– Joel Varty, Director

Don’t miss Emma Sandziuk as Anne Shirley!

The VOS THEATRE Production of Anne of Green Gables runs from July 13 to 22
Tickets are available from the Box Office at 905-372-2210
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