Original Choreography by Bengt Jörgen, C.M.
Based on Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™
Music composed by Norman Campbell
Ballet Score Arranged by Alexander Levkovich
Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet® is made possible by Margaret Fountain, C.M. &
David Fountain, C.M
Set & Costume Design by Sue LePage
Original Lighting Design by Rebecca Picherack
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet® and other indicia of Anne are trademarks and Canadian
official marks of the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority Inc., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island,
used under licence by Canada’s Ballet Jörgen.
This is Ballet Documentary
Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet® is a playful, colourful and evocative production that will transport audiences to early 20th century Atlantic Canada. Based on the beloved Canadian novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet® follows the adventures of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl sent to live on a farm in the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island.
Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L. M. Montgomery). Written for all ages, it has been considered a children’s novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.
Anne Shirley, a young orphan from the fictional community of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia (based upon the real community of New London, Prince Edward Island), is sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties and sixties, after a childhood spent in strangers’ homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew had originally decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm at Green Gables, which is set in the fictional town of Avonlea. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne instead.
Anne is highly imaginative, eager to please and, at times, quite a dramatic individual. However, she is defensive about her appearance, despising her red hair and pale, thin frame. She is often quite talkative, especially when it comes to describing her fantasies and dreams. At first, stern and sharp Marilla says Anne must return to the orphanage, but after much observation and considering, along with Matthew’s strong liking to Anne, she decides to let her stay.
As a child of imagination, Anne takes much joy in life and adapts quickly, thriving in the close-knit farming village. Her imagination and talkativeness soon brighten up Green Gables.
“…it seemed as if Anne’s famous imagination had rubbed off on Bengt Jörgen himself.”
– The Globe & Mail
“If Montgomery’s words could dance off the pages, this is exactly how they would look.”
– Audience Member, Halifax, NS
“It certainly was a memorable experience & event, one that we hope will be repeated very often since it works so well as a ballet due to the masterful way you presented it.”
– Paul Schafer, Director, World Culture Project
Creative Team Profiles
Artistic Director & CEO
Bengt Jörgen is a co-founder of Ballet Jörgen and serves as its Artistic Director and CEO. In 1992, his artistic vision led to the formation of a partnership with George Brown College in Toronto where he is the Artistic Directorof the full-time dance programs.
He is an acclaimed choreographer who has created more than 30 full-length ballets for numerous ballet and opera companies including the National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the American Ballet Studio Company, and the Hong Kong Ballet.
Bengt Jörgen’s commitment to creating relevant and innovative work, together with his demonstrated choreographic and artistic vision, has garnered national and international acclaim. Under his directorship Canada’s Ballet Jörgen has growninto one of the country’s largest dance institutions, delivering a record amount of programming across Canada.
Born in the Archangelsk region of Russia in 1952 and spending most of his life in Ukraine, Alexander Levkovich graduated from the Lysenko Academy of Music in 1980, having earned both а degree in Piano Performance and Composition.
Alexander’s work has been performed internationally by Philip Hirshhorn, Julian Milkis, Dimitri Yablonsky, the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Alexander’s artistry in arranging existing compositions is well-known within the Canadian music industry. His prolific career in creating over 50 original pieces, as well as adapting over 60 existing compositions makes him the perfect choice to work on Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet™.
Costume, Prop & Set Design
Ontario-based set and costume designer Sue LePage studied at the University of Guelph. She has designed set and/or costumes for over 100 productions at many of Canada’s most important theatres including Tarragon Theatre, Grand Theatre, London, Nightwood Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Banff Centre for the Arts, Canadian Stage, National Arts Centre, Soulpepper Theatre Company, and Young People’s Theatre. She has also designed for the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival. Anne of Green Gables will be Sue’s 3rd project with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen.
As Anne Shirley
The title role of Anne will be created on Halifax native Hannah Mae Cruddas. Hannah Mae first appeared on stage with CBJ through The Local Participant Program in 2007 as “Young Anastasia” in the company’s World Premiere Performance of Anastasia in Halifax with Symphony Nova Scotia. She went on to study at Canada’s National Ballet School and attended Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s Junior Company in 2011.
Hannah Mae began her professional career as an Apprentice with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen in 2011 and joined the full company in 2013, last season coming full circle when Hannah Mae performed her first lead role as Anastasia on the company’s 30th Anniversary tour.
Hannah Mae is passionate about her work and equally so about inspiring the next generation in dance as they forge their way into the dance world.
Anne of Green Gables Facts
- Anne of Green Gables was an immediate success when it was first published in 1908. It sold nineteen thousand copies in the first five months.
- It went into ten printings in its first year and was translated into Swedish as early as 1909.
- It has since been translated into more than a dozen languages.
- It is believed that more than 50 million copies have been sold worldwide.
- The term “Anne of Green Gables” is currently a registered trademark, owned jointly by the Province of Prince Edward Island and the heirs of L.M. Montgomery. Producers of Anne-related products outside of PEI pay a royalty to the family while Island producers make Anne items royalty free.
- First staged at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown in 1965 as part of the inaugural Charlottetown Festival, Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ now holds a Guinness World Record as the longest running annual musical!
- About 3.3-million people world-wide have seen the musical — in Charlottetown and other Canadian cities, as well New York, London (England), and Japan. In Charlottetown alone, over 2.1-million people have seen the show (from 1965 to 2015).
- Seventeen Canadian actors have performed the lead role of Anne Shirley since 1965.
- Based on L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables, first published in 1908, the musical was written and composed by Don Harron and Norman Campbell respectively, with lyrics by Elaine Campbell and Mavor Moore.
On Canada Day 1999, the Dominion Institute and the Council for Canadian Unity held two Internet surveys (one in English and one in French) asking people to nominate their favourite Canadian heroes; L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, was voted one of the top twenty heroes of the Twentieth Century.
Facts from Prince Edward Island Tourism