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Burnaby actor embraces role in Anne of Green Gables

Anthony Santiago is a part of Gateway Theatre’s musical adaptation of the Lucy Maud Montgomery basic, enjoying from Dec. 16 to Dec. 31.

Over many generations, Canadians have been in love with Anne Shirley, the 11-year previous talkative red-haired orphan who lastly finds a house on the Inexperienced Gables.

The 1908 novel Anne of Inexperienced Gables has spawned an entire trade, with many books, motion pictures and musical diversifications arising from the poignant story of Anne Shirley, who arrives in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, stuffed with hope for a brand new life.

For this yr’s vacation season, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s basic is about to return to life onstage on the Gateway Theatre, as artists from Metro Vancouver inform the story by way of music and dance.

“The story itself is simply such a stunning, lovely heartwarming story,” mentioned Burnaby-based actor Anthony Santiago, who who performs Matthew Cuthbert within the musical. “It is no marvel that [the story has] endured for over 100 years. It is simply that good, lovely and constructive.”

Barbara Tomasic, director of the vacation musical adaptation, mentioned that the story is a timeless basic about love, acceptance and bringing individuals collectively, and is a superb strategy to embrace the essence of the vacations with household and buddies.

“It brings laughter and pleasure to the stage,” Tomasic mentioned. “Anne of Inexperienced Gables is a narrative you’ll be able to get pleasure from time and again, and it’s no shock that it’s Canada’s favorite musical.”

Anne of Inexperienced Gables – The Musical, written by Donald Harron with music by Norman Campbell, is on the Gateway Theatre from Dec. 15 to 31.

Showing as Anne Shirley within the musical is actress Kyra Leroux, of Riverdale fame, who performed Britta Seashore within the CW collection.

New West actor Katey Wright, identified to the Gateway audiences from her function in A Little Evening Music, and Burnaby’s Santiago, identified for Stratford Competition’s Dying And The King’s Horseman, play the Cuthbert siblings, who welcome Anne into their residence.

The NOW spoke to Santiago about his profession and his involvement within the present manufacturing.

Santiago started working as an actor greater than 25 years in the past and has appeared in musicals, motion pictures, and TV reveals. After a 17-year hiatus from the craft, Santiago has been again for about 5 years.

“I really feel like the brand new child on the block in some ways,” he mentioned. “Each present continues to be an thrilling journey and I nonetheless really feel like the brand new child though I am the age of a variety of the youngsters’ mother and father within the forged.”

Q&A: Anthony Santiago

As an actor, the place do you get pleasure from performing essentially the most: performs or motion pictures and tv?

I’ve executed some TV. I used to be a recurring character in a collection known as Motherland: Fort Salem. However I actually love theatre. It is one thing that I grew up with. I used to be born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. At the moment, Edmonton had essentially the most theatre firms per capita in North America. So, theatre is the one which I’m drawn to; the one I really like essentially the most. And it feels extra natural for me [as an actor] as a result of it modifications from efficiency to efficiency, which is at all times thrilling, not only for myself but additionally for the viewers.

Is there a purpose why you gravitated extra in direction of theatre?

I began professionally once I was 14. And [theatre] is the place I really feel most at residence and relaxed. Movie and TV is a good alternative — extra individuals see you, the cash is nice. Nevertheless it’s a course of that does not work as effectively for me, organically.

I would like time to determine my character, to determine the relationships with their characters. Movie and TV is sort of fast — by the point we have executed two takes we’re prepared to maneuver on to one thing else.

And the most effective factor could be its viewers. It’s the visceral responses, the suggestions you get, whether or not it is a giggle or shock adopted by loud exclamation, these are the issues which might be thrilling since you get a way that they’re part of the storytelling and the viewers is with you.

You mentioned you took a break for 17 years from appearing. What led you to taking a break after which coming again years later?

I took a break as a result of I used to be elevating a younger household. I used to be on the highway loads previous to my break, which was onerous on the household. So I went again to high school and did graphic design. However 5 to six years in the past, there have been some life modifications and I wasn’t blissful doing what I used to be doing, so I made a decision to see a buddy who was a creative director of a theatre firm known as Ensemble Theatre Firm in Vancouver. I requested him if I’m I too previous to return again and he mentioned that you just’re by no means too previous you probably have the need and the need to do it. And that was it.

It is prefer it’s like a homecoming in some ways. Coming again to it [performing], I did not understand how a lot I missed it, and the way a lot I get pleasure from being within the rehearsal corridor with different individuals or being on stage. It has been a tremendously fantastic reward to have the ability to return and do a present like Anne of Inexperienced Gables.

What makes Anne of Inexperienced Gables so liked, even now a century later?

After we meet her, she’s 11 years previous, and he or she’s been by way of all of it: she’s an orphan, she’s been transferring from family to family, and but, when she involves Inexperienced Gables, she has essentially the most wonderful and exquisite outlook to the world that she lives in. There’s a lot constructive messaging. After which there’s humor and exquisite, poignant moments that everybody can relate to. 

What went into your preparation for the present and because the Cuthbert brother?

Matthew Cuthbert is a stunning character. He’s extraordinarily shy. He would not become involved in a lot, he is retains to himself. And I believe there’s parts of myself in him. I am not an extroverted individual, I do favor my very own firm. So there’s so many parts of Matthew that I perceive. And what I really like about him is how he alters by way of the play when he meets Anne and the expansion and the openness and finally the love that he reveals. And it is fascinating to see how this character, who individuals paint as being quiet and to himself, slowly begins to open up. It is an exquisite metaphor for neighborhood and the energy and positivity of neighborhood in serving to to vary each other and to develop. I am honoured to have the ability to play him.

What did you be taught about your self as you ready for the character?

It is discovering new components of myself that I by no means explored earlier than or wasn’t conscious that is there.That is the factor I really like about appearing — you you’ll be able to look inside you’ll be able to and observe the world.

What do you hope individuals be taught from the musical/the story?

I hope individuals take away a way of journey, of affection and they’re moved to honour themselves. One of many issues that Anne says is, “Gee, I am glad I am nobody else however me,” which is a daring assertion for anybody to say, regardless of how previous you’re.

And I believe that is one thing that each one among us can attempt to be taught from. We’ve got totally different experiences. We have totally different viewpoints. And it is okay to have that. You do not essentially have to evolve to everybody else. You’re good as who you’re, and to like that. 

The musical opens Friday, Dec. 16, and runs till Dec. 31. 

The efficiency on Dec. 30 shall be accompanied by a dwell audio description, described in real-time to listeners who’re blind, partially sighted, or visually impaired.

Tickets begin at $35 and could be bought at https://www.gatewaytheatre.com/anne

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