When Carlyn Craig, founder and owner of Post Hypnotic Press, came to me with “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm“, I was cautiously excited.
I absolutely love stories from this era, hence the excitement. It’s also a classic with well-loved characters; hence the apprehension…I didn’t want to mess it up! And as I dove into reading the book and taking notes that would help my performance, both of those feelings amplified. The love and adventures spoke to my soul, but being set in Maine caused me to hesitate. So I researched online and watched many videos of the Kennedys and other notable northeasterners so I could hear the accents, and adapted my performance as lightly as possible while still staying true to the text. Now I’ll risk criticism here, and share that I actually went back and re-recorded the whole thing because I felt certain I’d missed the mark. This is something I almost never do, but given that it’s such an iconic book, and I had a light schedule, I was able to do it this time.
When I was finally finished, I reflected on the overarching themes of the story: love, imagination, persistence, and loyalty to family. I marvelled at the author, Kate Douglas Wiggin’s writing that so artfully captured the strength of character of such a young lady, and the ambition she exhibited that drove her to thrive at school and in her community. I remain grateful for the opportunity to narrate and revisit this gem from the past. I hope others can connect with and tease out the fine qualities from each of the flawed characters as I did.
– Ann Richardson