Just a few miles down the road, the Cherokee Civic Theatre has been staging productions for decades. Their current show, Anne of Green Gables, proudly boasts two Jacksonville College instructors in the cast. According to the CCT website, “the play is based on the beloved childhood classic by L. M. Montgomery & adapted by Jody Johnston Davidson. Set in the late 19th century, the novel recounts the adventures of an 11 year old orphan girl, Anne, sent by mistake to two middle-aged siblings who had originally intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm.”

Math instructor and department head Cathy Smith plays the lead role of Marilla Cuthbert. Smith came to Jacksonville College in 2020 and participated in her first CCT production last year.  Biblical studies instructor Duane Stark is newer to the college, joining us in 2023, and is participating in his first CCT production. He was cast as lead character Matthew Cuthbert. Of their roles, Smith said “to my surprise, I saw Duane Stark and his family ready to participate as well (at auditions).  And now, not only is he my brother in Christ, we are brother and sister in the play.” Stark says he has not participated in a play since high school but performing in a community theater production was a bucket list item for him. His daughter, Jewel, is also cast as Diana Barry in the play.

How exciting to have two of our instructors on stage together! Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at the historic theater located at 157 W. 5th Street in Rusk. More information is available at cherokeetheatre.net.