Co-presented by the College of Charleston’s department of theatre and dance and department of music, “The Secret Garden” is a compelling musical for the whole family. This enchanting classic of children’s literature, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911, is reimagined in brilliant musical style by composer Lucy Simon and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman.
Winner of three Tony Awards, “The Secret Garden” is a story of love, healing and forgiveness. Orphaned in India, young Mary Lennox returns to Yorkshire, England to live with her troubled, reclusive uncle Archibald and his invalid son, Colin. Their estate is home to many wonders, including a magic garden which has a nurturing, transforming effect on them all, and the Dreamers, spirits from their past who guide them into a new life.
The College’s production is directed by theatre faculty member Evan Parry, with music directed by voice/opera faculty member David Templeton.
The score, which is infused with a variety of Western and Eastern musical influences, features a number of famous songs, including “Lily’s Eyes,” “Come to My Garden,” “Wick,” and “Hold On.” The orchestra features instrumentalists from both the College of Charleston and Charleston Symphony Orchestras.
Director Evan Parry and the rest of the production team have chosen to emphasize the presence of ghosts in “The Secret Garden,” though these ghosts are present because they are still held in the memory of the living characters. Says Parry, “Our ‘Dreamers,’ as they are called, serve as narrators, as the musical Chorus, as spectres carrying candles in the dark hallways of the mansion. The more tightly held they are in the memories of the living, the more visible to them, and to us, they are. They are also there to help guide the living characters on their way toward healing, forgiveness and redemption.”
DETAILS: The production will run Thursday, February 25 through Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Curtain times will be 7:30 p.m., except the Sunday show at 2:00 p.m. only. Performances will take place at the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 Saint Philip St. Admission is $20 for general public; $15 for senior citizens College of Charleston employees and non-College of Charleston students; $12 for College of Charleston students. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (843) 953-6306.