Anne of Green Gables — The Musical, the centrepiece of the Charlottetown Festival for more than 50 years, will be produced only every other year from now on, with no production next year.
Confederation Centre of the Arts made the announcement in a news release Thursday morning.
The production base on the young heroine of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novels is the world record holder for the longest-running musical running seasonally.
It was staged every summer at the festival from 1965 to 2019, but the string was broken by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a two-year hiatus, it returned to the Confederation Centre in 2022.
When there is no production of Anne at the Charlottetown arts centre in alternate years, the rights will be available for other productions under the terms of a renegotiated rights agreement.
The Charlottetown Festival staging of the musical “will be made available to schools and non-professional community groups for the first time in the Maritimes, through Concord Theatricals,” the news release said.
“This new agreement will also bring the musical to other markets when not presented at the festival, with beautifully imagined touring sets developed under [Charlottetown Festival artistic director] Adam Brazier’s guidance.”
Kelly Harron, the daughter of the musical’s co-creator, Don Harron, is excited about opening up opportunities for new companies to present the show.
“The pandemic gave us the chance to imagine how we can share the magic of Anne and Avonlea,” said Harron.
“Making the musical more accessible will help inspire a new generation of theatre performers and patrons,”
The show will next be staged at the Charlottetown mainstage in 2024, which coincides with Montgomery’s birth 150 years earlier, in 1874.