Season 2 Episode 11

It’s Just a Stage


All of Avonlea is caught up in the excitement when flamboyant Pigeon Plumtree, Sara’s cousin and world famous leading lady of the theatre, arrives in Avonlea. As soon as Sara meets her famous cousin, she decides she wants to follow in Pigeon’s footsteps and become an actress. Hetty, however, pronounces that actresses are vain, giddy creatures and that Sara’s association with Pigeon Plumtree can only lead to trouble.

Sara is not the only one enthralled with Pigeon. Pat Frewen, the local pig farmer has been courting Theodora Dixon a local farm woman for over twenty years but has never proposed because of his stingy nature and strong infatuation with Pigeon. Theodora is beginning to lose hope that he will ever propose.

Sara tries to play cupid, by telling Pat that he should stop being shy and let the woman he loves know how he feels. However, the woman that he thinks he loves is Pigeon, not Theodora and he sends a love letter asking Pigeon to lunch at the White Sands Hotel. Pigeon, incensed that a pig farmer would have the gall to court someone of her stature, embarrasses Pat in front of everyone at the White Sands, including Theodora, Sara and Hetty. Hurt and humiliated, Theodora storms out of the room. Pat comes to his senses and runs after her, but she refuses to speak to him.
Sara and the other King children are busy working on their own newspaper and have included a gossipy advice column fashioned after the one in ‘Woman’s Own’ magazine. Sara becomes an ace reporter snooping around town searching for “juicy” bits of information. When Sara’s letters, which are thinly veiled accounts of some of the gossip she’s heard in town, inadvertently get mixed in with Olivia’s articles for the Avonlea Chronicle and get published, Olivia bears the brunt of the community’s anger. To make matters worse, someone breaks into the newspaper office one night and steals the money raised for the schoolhouse. Once again Olivia is accused of carelessness.

Sara sees Pigeon for what she really is: a pampered and spoiled woman with no regard for anyone else’s feelings but her own. Sara confronts Pigeon and tells her how upset she is that she hurt her friend’s feelings. In order to make amends, Pigeon devises a plan to bring Theodora and Pat together, but she needs Sara’s help. During a public recitation that she and Sara are giving, Pigeon arranges for Pat to propose to Theodora in front of the whole town. Pat musters up his courage and proposes to Theodora and after some hard bargaining, she accepts.

    Fan Facts

  • Originally Aired February 10, 1991
  • This episode is loosely based on chapter 1 of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book Chronicles of Avonlea, with Sara Stanley taking the place of Anne Shirley.
  • Pat Frewen’s pig barn is actually the chicken coop beside the King Barn. This building was also used as Jasper Dale’s workshop in “May the Best Man Win”.
  • The poem used for Sara and Pigeon’s performance is called ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ and has a lot of similarities to the plot of this episode.

Episode Stills