CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Rachel O’Brien’s had a love for Anne of Green Gables for almost her entire life.
Now, the 22-year-old from Truro is soaking up as much as she can while the music director for Anne & Gilbert: The Musical in Charlottetown through Guild Theatre Productions.
“I saw the show in 2008 and liked it a lot,” said O’Brien. “It was a great production and the story was interesting. Anne is so engrained in our culture to begin with.”
Having just graduated from Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., studying music, O’Brien says the Anne of Green Gables musical was the first musical she’d seen.
“I was about six years old. I remember it so vividly. I was so enthralled with all the elements, and I remember putting my head down and just watching the orchestra pit. I was so fascinated by that.”
She said the show was “magical” and was formative in her career direction.
Even before her graduation ceremony at Mount A, O’Brien was on the road for the island, moving at the beginning of May for rehearsals that started May 2.
For six days a week, eight hours a day, the cast rehearsed. O’Brien plays the piano for all six performances each week between now and Oct. 24. She taught the actors the score, and also leads the small orchestra of a cello and violin.
“Anne is such a captivating character. She has such an imagination. She’s so bold and says everything she thinks,” she said, adding it’s good for young girls to see. “The material is just so gorgeous. I’m just trying to soak up everything about the music director position.”
The pianist said everyone has been doing well in their roles, from those in the box office to Ellen Denny in the role of Anne Shirley.
“It’s the best work environment and post-grad job opportunity that could’ve happened,” she said.
For more on the production, including show times and tickets, visit https://www.theguildpei.com/.