All she needed was a barn and some imagination. Maybe that’s why Chris Henry’s kindred spirit is Anne Shirley.
After six months of lockdown, Chris Henry called me about taking Anne of Green Gables on the road. So we decided to do the production we did in NYC with a few ahem... minor adjustments. We found ourselves with a perfect setting to bring Anne to life in Maine, creating a pared-down version of the show. Chris and I worked virtually as a creative team and we both worked with the actor via zoom. The show is very intricate and it was quite ambitious to direct and choreograph virtually, but that's the only way Chris Henry likes to work.
My approach to a very dance-heavy show had to shift drastically to movement with a singular actor. Chris and I reimagined the play in a Maine barn with silk ladders, farm tables, lofts, chickens, and even cows for a little extra authenticity. We worked through full days of tech, note sessions, and design meetings all via zoom in typical Maine weather. It was joyful and rejuvenating and the energy for the entire team was palpable.
Artists need to create and it felt magical watching these artists connect with an audience and each other because live theater, like nothing else, does this for our spirits.
Bravo to Chris Henry for having the vision to continue the work of Royal Family in a new space that allowed for the safety protocols necessary and exposed a whole new community to artful work that represents the voice of Royal Family.
Please help me say "Happy Birthday" to Chris.
Creative Director, Royal Family