The family that plays together: Entire Guy family on stage in Anne – Prince Edward Island

It’s a first for the Charlottetown Festival — an entire family of four onstage together in Anne of Green Gables —The Musical. The Guy family of Toronto are portraying a fictional family in Avonlea: Cecil Sloan the farmer, his wife Mrs. Sloan, and their two daughters. 

Stephen Guy-McGrath reprises the role of Cecil this season while daughter Eleanor, 11, also returns for a second season as a child of Avonlea. Melanie Phillipson, who is Guy-McGrath’s wife, plays Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Sloan, and Mairead Guy, 5, is making her stage debut as a child of Avonlea. Guy-McGrath also has a main role in the mainstage show Million Dollar Quartet and Phillipson will star in the world premiere of A Misfortune at The Mack in September. 

“It’s not very often you get to act with your whole family … it’s pretty cool,” said Eleanor Guy, while laughing that her dad’s backstage hijinks are “embarrassing.” 

‘Best of both worlds’

A happy surprise for Phillipson is that, even though they’re working together, each family member still has autonomy.

‘Being able to stay together as a family makes a huge difference,’ says Stephen Guy-McGrath. (Submitted by Stephen Guy-McGrath)

“That was kind of my big worry working with my family for the first time — I’ve never worked with my husband before, nor with my children,” she shared.

“Going to work is my relaxing time. But coming here I’m getting best of both worlds, and I didn’t know if was going to be like that.”

‘Able to stay together as a family’

Guy-McGrath credits Anne director Adam Brazier, also the Centre’s artistic director, with making the show a welcoming place for the family to work and live together.

“It’s very difficult in this industry — you work in different places, you’re keeping multiple households going if you have a family — you’re often separated from your family,” he said. 

“Being able to stay together as a family makes a huge difference and makes it viable, frankly, so we’re very…

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