Anne with an “E”: Introducing Mary-Margaret Roberts as Anne Shirley

“And people laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?” -Anne Shirley

Mary-Margaret Headshot

Mary-Margaret Roberts

With her iconic red braids and indomitable spirit, Anne Shirley is one of literature’s most beloved characters. Taking on the challenge of bringing Anne to life onstage in Provision Theater for Young Audience’s world-premiere adaptation of Anne of Green Gables is Chicago actress Mary-Margaret Roberts. Since graduating from Western Illinois University with a MFA in Acting, Roberts has called Chicago home for two-and-a-half years and worked with theaters such as Fox Valley Rep, Emerald City, Metropolis, and the Factory Theatre.  We asked Roberts a few questions about her experience with Provision and playing Anne Shirley.

Tell me a little about the character you play in Anne of Green Gables.

“Anne Shirley is one of the most interesting characters I have ever played.  Her vocabulary is incredible and her love for the world around her is so infinite. I love how her relationships with everyone in the story grow into something so beautiful and meaningful.  You can’t help but love ANNE!!”

Why do you think Anne of Green Gables remains so popular generations after it was published?

“It’s an incredible story! I re-read the book again in preparation for this show, and Lucy Maud Montgomery draws you in through every sentence she composes.  Everyone, boy and girl, alike can relate to Anne in someway, whether through her relationships, her crazy antics, her love for those closest to her, or her extreme positivity in all aspects of her life.”

Mary-Margaret Roberts as Anne Shirley and Jaclyn Holtzman as Diana Barry

Mary-Margaret Roberts as Anne Shirley and Jaclyn Holtzman as Diana Barry

 What has it been like bringing such a beloved character and story to life onstage?

“This rehearsal process has been a blast! Anne, though quite the challenging character, is nothing but a joy to play! The cast is amazing to work with and so supportive, and I think everyone plays their parts so incredibly well.  I have fun everyday with this cast and this famous literary character!”

Anne of Green Gables starts performances on March 14 and runs through April 19. Visit for more information.