Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Anne of Green Gables- meet cast member Tony Gilbert



Tell me a little bit about your character?

Matthew Cuthbert is a farmer who lives with his sister on their farm, Green Gables. He is in his 60s and is slowly losing his ability to work the farm due to his age and a heart condition. A gentle man, he is very shy around women he is not well acquainted with. When he meets Anne he is taken by her from the moment they meet. When I started studying him, I liked him more each time I met him.

What were some of the challenges for you in working on this piece?
Well, like Matthew, I am also in my 60s and not being a dancer, I find it more difficult to hop around than 20 years ago. This is also a much different role than I have been blessed with in my past, a lovable (I hope) old boy with a huge heart of gold and a sense of humor. One of the easiest parts of this role has been that Cassie Cope has made my job of adoring "my little girl, Anne" effortless.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this play?
This piece is very progressive for the time in which it was written, and very timely for today with the subjects of gender equality, self image, and bullying. If people walk away feeling more accepting, less judgmental, and warm, we will have made "Anne" proud.

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I just really like Matthew Cuthbert and love Anne and Marilla. I hope there is a good measure of Matthew in me and I might "be some good" to others, as he would say.

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? 
I performed in my first high school musical 51 years ago last spring. My senior year in high school, our drama teacher took a group of us to see one of the first touring companies of "Man of La Mancha." I was so moved by the story and actors that a year later I decided to major in theatre at UVA. I have always had the goal as an actor to move the audience as other actors have moved me. 

How did you first get involved with LTA?
After a hiatus from acting I decided to show up for auditions at LTA for "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 2016 and was given the privilege of playing Judge Wilson. So far, this is the only theatre I have worked in since.

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