Torrence Brown of Newville loves to act.
Though she’s only 16 and a junior studying online courses with Commonwealth Charter Academy, she already has 11 years of acting under her belt.
“When I was little, I never went outside and did normal kid stuff. I went in my basement and put on full blown plays and musicals with costumes and mics,” she said. “It was crazy, but it was something I always liked to do.”
Torrence will play the lead in this year’s Summerfair musical production of “Anne of Green Gables.” The musical is based off of the book of the same name that was first published in 1908, and the first musical was produced in 1965.
The story is set late into the 19th century, and takes off when Anne Shirley is mistakenly sent to two adult siblings who intended to adopt a boy.
Torrence has played Annie in “Annie” and Fiona in “Shrek Jr.,” but she said that Anne Shirley is one of the most challenging roles she has ever played because of the character’s complicated backstory.
“She has a terrible temper,” Torrence said. “She lives with a bunch of people who are abusive, and she never really had a loving family until she lives with the Cuthberts.”
In high school, acting has become Torrence’s passion. She used to play volleyball, but dropped it due to schedule conflicts with shows. She now has voice and piano lessons once a week.
Torrence said she loves acting because “every single character is very different.”
“Diving in head first and becoming a character is the best part for me – like putting on the makeup, the costumes, to finally getting the lights interacting,” she said. “The shows comes together during tech week, and that’s when I feel like my character really comes out.”
“Anne of Green Gables” will open at the Carlisle Theatre as part of Carlisle Summerfair 2019. Admission is free, and there will be two shows on Saturday—at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.—and one on Sunday at 3 pm.
Torrence says she would love to pursue acting and musical theater, but she is angling herself to be an early childhood development teacher.
“You kind of have to have a backup plan—as my parents tell me – because acting isn’t much of a reliable job,” she said. Despite that, she says she wants to work with music.