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Lineup to replace Anne of Green Gables released


For the first time in decades, the Atlantic region’s most famous redhead won’t be returning to the big stage of the Charlottetown Festival next year, but it seems a break for “Anne of Green Gables” isn’t slowing things down.

In fact, the Confederation Centre of the Arts has released a full schedule, including a brand new show.

The world premiere of the musical “Maggie” will share the spotlight with the already popular “The Play That Goes Wrong,” headlining the 2023 festival.

“Maggie” tells the story of a mother raising her boys in post-war Scotland, and is based on the real life grandmother of Scottish-Canadian musician Johnny Reid.

“A working-class story -- a story about the celebration of life, the human spirit, friendship,” Reid tells CTV Atlantic. “And homage to the strong women who helped raise us all.”

It's another new show from the centre they're hoping will follow in the footsteps of the last festival premiere, “Tell Tale Harbour.”

“It’s rare that I come across a show that I believe so firmly in. ‘Tell Tale Harbour’ was another one where we really believe that the show will achieve what it needed to achieve and be as grand as we wanted it to be, and that show appears to be having a long life after the centre,” said Adam Brazier, Artistic Director for the performing arts at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. “I have the utmost confidence ‘Maggie’ will do the same.”

The festival’s shows will heavily feature Islanders this year. Many of them will have all-Island casts, even though the most famous fictitious Islander doesn't appear.

“Doing a season without Anne is definitely different for Charlottetown, for sure, and for the festival,” said Dawn Ward, Confederation Centre of the Arts Associate Artistic Director. “But I think that we’re coming out of this in a positive way by bringing more of the community into the theatre and into the festival.”

It’s a change, but the feeling here is that it’s a good one.

“Change is always hard for people, and uncertainty is inevitable in life and unescapable in life” said Brazier. “But this summer is going to be an amazingly fun, uplifting, and inspirational summer.”

They say it opens the festival up to tell more Island stories.

“There is so much more to P.E.I. than just ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ even though it’s a big part of our history and our culture,” said Ward. “I know there’s so much more that we can do, and that’s opening the doors for more musicals and for more talent.”

That includes shows like “The Songs of Johnny & June” on the Mack stage, another show featuring a strong female character.

Despite “Anne of Green Gables” not taking the stage next year, the message of female empowerment with shows focusing on the lives of strong women remains.

“Anne of Green Gables” is set to return to the big stage in 2024. Top Stories

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