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Anne of Green Gables The Musical scheduled to make its return to P.E.I. festival this year

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After a two-year hiatus, "Anne of Green Gables The Musical" is returning to the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island this year.

"The knowledge that Anne is coming back to the stage for so many of us Islanders, that is a sign of summer," said Adam Brazier, the artistic director of performing arts.

This year, the musical will introduce a new "Anne Shirley," Calgary-born actor Kelsey Verzotti.

"To be in this incredible historic show, it's all so much," said Verzotti. "I'm really excited."

Verzotti will be the 20th actor to take on the role of the iconic redhead.

"It's just an honour to be among those women and there's definitely nerves, but I think it's a good thing," she said.

"If you're playing Anne Shirley, you not only have to carry the weight of that story, but the weight of that icon."

Verzotti says it's a challenge that she is willing to take on with honour.

"To not just ride the wave of another contract, another show, but really make it my own and what I want it to be, which I'm really still figuring out," said Verzotti.

Brazier says he thinks Verzotti's presence will bring a new, fresh and wonderful feel.

"But I'm certain it'll be what we know and love the most about Anne," he said.

For Verzotti, it's an adventure she is looking forward to beginning.

"I'm so excited. I've never been a redhead, so I'm excited to see how it looks," she said. "Maybe I'll have to make it a permanent thing."

She says she is also looking forward to all that P.E.I. has to offer.

"I'm excited to experience the community. I've heard really good things and I'm really excited for the seafood," said Verzotti.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic bringing stage performances to a halt,  Anne of Green Gables The Musical ran at the Charlottetown Festival for over 55 consecutive years – even holding a Guinness World Record as the world's longest-running annual musical.

"I think the success of Anne of Green Gables is that thestory continues to be relevant to generations," said Brazier.

"She's a very strong character and someone we can all relate to," Verzotti said.

Select tickets will be on sale online this Monday.

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