My name is Rachael, Rachael Chesnutt, but would you please call me Anne? For the first two weeks of March at least, for that is when I will have the privilege of portraying Anne Shirley in The WordPlayers’ upcoming production of Anne of Avonlea.
I have always known and loved Anne ever since I was very young. My mother grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables books and passed down her love of the series to my sister and me.
When I was younger and even now, I could relate to Anne because of her vivid imagination. I was always pretending to be someone else in a far off land, thinking up new and exciting stories to play out.
And like Anne, I always seem to be imagining scenarios and acting them out in my head. I suppose it was this habit which also sparked my love for acting. When you’re acting, for at least a brief time, it can give you the chance to pretend to be someone else.
Playing Anne has given me a different perspective of her character. When I thought of Anne, I thought of the little orphan girl who was always getting into trouble.
In Anne of Avonlea, Anne is not that little girl, though she still finds herself in sticky situations. In two years, she lost the closest thing she ever had to a father and found out that the closest thing she had to a mother was going blind.
She had to face many obstacles that molded her into the young woman that she became. She opted to put off her ambition of going to college so she could stay and help Marilla. This led her to the unexpected adventure of becoming the teacher of the Avonlea school.
Being the same age as Anne in this play has also given me some insight and helped me relate to her. All of a sudden, I am faced with the decisions and challenges of adulthood.
All of a sudden, I’m not a kid anymore. The realization creeps up on you. You don’t even know it’s happening until it has happened. Like Anne, I must face the challenge head on and learn from my mistakes.
Even though I may not know what might be past “the bend in the road,” I will put all of my faith in God, and I trust that He will lead me in the right direction.