We chatted with Brett Smock, the Producing Artistic Director at NAMT member Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival in Auburn, NY, about the theatre’s upcoming world premiere production of Anne of Green Gables by Matte O’Brien and Matt Vinson. Anne of Green Gables was featured in NAMT’s Other Shows You Should Know jukebox last year.
How did Anne of Green Gables first find its way to Finger Lakes?
Anne of Green Gables, A New Folk Rock Musical was accepted to participate in our new works program, “The PiTCH.” Each year, we provide residency to five different creative teams and their emerging works. We offer them housing, transportation, marketing support, a dedicated venue, dramaturgical support and the beautiful backdrop of the Finger Lakes. They are able to immerse and work on their new musical and at the end of each week, the team is able to present or “pitch” their new material to audiences for three presentations. Basically, we create space and opportunity for musical theatre writers. To date, we have given 59 new new musicals development opportunity through “The PiTCH.” Last year, Anne was a big hit at “The PiTCH.” Matte O’Brien (Book/Lyrics) and Matt Vinson (Music) presented excerpts from the show to sold-out houses and during their week of residency it became clear that the show had incredible appeal across all demographics. We began discussions about the show’s needs, its development path and how we might help facilitate for the show and the team. That discussion led to us producing the premiere production this year as part of our 60th Anniversary season.