Northwood Entertainment Searches for the Next CBC’s Anne Shirley

27 Apr

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Canadian film and television media company Northwood Entertainment has begun a worldwide search for the lead of Anne, an ongoing series based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s timeless classic “Anne of Green Gables”. Greenlit by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), production for Anne will begin in the summer of 2016 with an initial Season One commitment of eight episodes. The series will premiere sometime in 2017.

Adaptation of the series will be done by Emmy Award-winning writer Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad, Flesh and Bone), who will also executive produce. Other names attached to the project are Miranda de Pencier (Thanks for Sharing, Beginners), Alison Owen (Suffragette, Temple Grandin) and Debra Hayward (Pride and Prejudice, Les Misérables).

Northwood is looking for girls 11-14 years-old girls. No previous acting experience is required. Those who can’t make it to auditions in person between the dates of May 7 through to May 28, can submit auditions online. Visit for more details

“Anne of Green Gables” was first presented on CBC TV March 1956 in musical form. It was broadcast as part of the CBC Folio series. For this version, L. M. Montgomery’s book was adapted by Donald Harron with lyrics by James Costigan. CBC Producer Norman Campbell wrote the music and actress Toby Tarnow played Anne Shirley. The musical would eventually become the anchor of the Charlottetown Festival on Prince Edward Island. Over the years, actresses Jamie Ray, Malorie-Ann Spiller, and Susan Cuthbert would play the title character. But the most widely recognized work to date on the CBC is the 1985 mini-series, Anne of Green Gables. It starred Megan Follows and was directed by Kevin Sullivan, whose company Sullivan Entertainment, would later produce the award-winning Road to Avonlea.

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables produced by Breakthrough Entertainment premiered February 15 of this year on Ontario station YTV as part of their “Big Fun Movies” segment. The film stars Ella Ballentine as Anne Shirley, Martin Sheen as Matthew Cuthbert, and Sara Botsford as Marilla Cuthbert. The author’s granddaughter Kate Macdonald Butler served as Executive Producer. Directed by John Kent Harrison (The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler) Breakthrough’s movie is based off an original script by Susan Coyne (Slings and Arrows, Best Laid Plans).

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