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Richmond Gateway Theatre actress relates to Anne of Green Gables heroine

"Kids have some of the most important ideas of all and they should be listened to."

It was more than just her red hair that made a Gateway Theatre actress feel connected to her latest character and the local community.

Kyra Leroux is returning to Richmond Gateway Theatre as Anne Shirley for the production of Anne of Green Gables — a character she said she “was born to play.”

“As a red head, she’s a character I grew up relating to,” said Leroux.

Aside from their similar hair colour, imagination is a key part of growing up and connecting with the community, according to the Coquitlam-born actress.

“(Anne) is such an imaginative person and she sees the world with such a sense of beauty. Reading the book, knowing the story and the music itself I think really reminds us of how much beauty there is in the world,” she said.

The character of Anne Shirley is described as a young girl who is full of hope for a new life with a “fierce personality” for melodrama and romance.

Leroux, who last performed at Gateway in 2016 for the Music Man production, explained that her character often reminded herself to “see the world through a child’s eyes.”

Growing up as a talkative kid, Leroux was often told to “stop talking all the time.”

“All I always wanted was to express and share my thoughts and ideas and Anne comes from a time where children should only be seen and not heard, and I think that idea still really exists today,” she said.

“Kids have some of the most important ideas of all and they should be listened to.”

Families watching the show should expect laughter and joy and be reminded of the universal message of “community and open-mindedness,” according to Leroux.

Anne of Green Gables will be at Gateway Theatres from Dec. 16 to 31.

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