#Research: Anne & Gilbert The Musical in Ottawa

In which a road trip brings the opportunity to follow up with one of my favourite people, meet “Gilbert Blythe”–well online anyway–and connect with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Those of you who have followed this blog are quite familiar with my *clears throat* interest  fascination  obsession  “theoretical interest” in all things related to the popularity of the perfect man archetype and what makes the relationship between certain fictional couples so popular with fans, and then how the Anne & Gilbert: The Musical fits into this. In 2014, actors Ellen Denny and Patrick Cook visited the blog in Read More

Celebrating L.M. Montgomery’s 141st Birthday

Today is L.M. Montgomery’s 141st Birthday and it is time to party like its 1874 because it feels like everyone is pulling out their best table linens and china to commemorate the event. After years of hard work from fans and academics of trying to prove and validate Montgomery’s connection and influence to literature and culture, one could certainly argue that she is part of a zeitgeist. Yes, I’m using my fifty cent words today. Zeitgeist. There’s the new Anne of Green Gables movie releasing hopefully (if the posters are to be believed) this holiday. (I got to Read More

Speaking at L.M. Montgomery Day: October 24, 2015

This weekend in Leaksdale, Ontario the Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario is holding its annual L.M. Montgomery Day featuring lectures and discussions by Benjamin Lefebvre, Vanessa Brown, Kate MacDonald Butler and me.  I’ll be talking about Montgomery as teen writer,“Fairy Slopes and Phantom Shadows: L.M. Montgomery as Teen Poet.” The day’s theme is, “Maud’s Landscapes: The Effect of Nature on Her Writing,” inspired by a life-sized bronze statue of “Maud in the Garden” in the Commemorative Garden at the Historic Leaskdale Church. In the afternoon there is going to be the book launch for L.M. Montgomery’s Read More

Special Event at the Toronto Public Library: Tuesday January, 27 2015

I was thrilled when Laura Robinson asked me to take part in this special event at the North York Central Library as part of their Book Club’s reading of my favourite L.M. Montgomery novel, Rilla of Ingleside.  Laura has curated a thought provoking exhibit on L.M. Montgomery’s reflections on World War I, combining artifacts from the period, excerpts from Rilla and Montgomery’s journals. The exhibit has been shown around Ontario, in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and France. The event will also feature Benjamin Lefebvre, who I believe will be reading out some of his findings of perspectives on Read More

An Interview with Marion Abbott: The Spirit of Maud Theatre Company

A few months ago I was traveling with a friend to Norval, Ontario where L.M. Montgomery lived from 1926 to 1935, and was told that there was a woman organizing a theatre company in the St. Paul’s Anglican Parish Hall where Montgomery used to participate and direct theatrical productions with her church and a youth organization. Now, I must admit I was weary. It seems that plays, musicals, and more plays are the chosen medium to celebrate Montgomery’s life and works. And while some of them are quite good and even intriguing and I can appreciate how someone considers Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part Two

On Tuesday I had posted Part One of my discussion with Sandra Nickel. Today marks the second and last post in my Embodying Character Series that I hoped you have enjoyed. Sandra and I conclude this discussion with an exploration of how we can connect acting techniques to the writing process, as well as some of the challenges or opportunities that writers have that an actor might not. Mel: Wardrobe, a wig, a prop. These are ways that actors can find portals into their character. What did you find interesting in how Ellen and Patrick tried to experience Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Sandra Nickel, Part One

It is hard to imagine that it was only a month ago that I had introduced the Embodying Character Series, where–with a little help from my friends–I hoped to explore how acting techniques could also be applied to writing.  I truly enjoyed my fascinating conversations with Ellen Denny and Patrick Cook (currently starring in the Anne and Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, PEI) about how they researched and developed their characters. In my introduction, I mentioned that I was partially inspired by Sandra Nickel’s lecture, “Creating the Authentic Gesture: Bringing Acting Techniques to Writing,” so Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Patrick Cook, Part Two

On Tuesday I posted the Part One of my Q&A with actor, Patrick Cook, as we discussed how he approached playing Gilbert Blythe in the current production of Anne & Gilbert: A Musical at The Guild in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Sidebar: Everyone I’ve recommended the show to and has had the opportunity to go has not been disappointed. So if you are planning a trip to PEI this summer, go. Also by birthday is coming up…so… Today’s discussion dives into some of the questions I had about what it means to play a literary heartthrob like Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Patrick Cook, Part One

I’m thrilled to bring you this Q&A with Patrick Cook as part of my Embodying Character Series.  So far the response to Part One, featuring Ellen Denny who plays Anne Shirley, has been tremendously positive, so thanks to everyone who has shared, tweeted, and liked it.   What becomes clear here is that both actors have a genuine connection and respect for their characters and how that is conveyed, as well as for each other. It isn’t everyday one can have the sort of meta experience of interviewing a person who plays one of your favourite fictional Read More

Embodying Character Series: An Interview with Ellen Denny, Part One

I’ve written in other parts of this blog about how successful the current production of Anne & Gilbert: The Musical is and that I think it has to do with the strong cast, led by Ellen Denny who plays Anne Shirley and Patrick Cook, who plays Gilbert Blythe. Briefly, the show is a successful adaptation of Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island (the latter being my favourite of the Anne books) which follows the years Anne teaches in Avonlea and then her four years in Redmond College. Choosing to focus most specifically on Anne and Read More