Local talent featured in The Secret Garden

Local talent featured in The Secret Garden
When University Theatre and the Department of Music chose to produce the Tony Award-winning musical The Secret Garden, with book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon, they knew they would need to find two talented young people for the roles of Mary Lennox and Colin Craven, around whom the action centers. Through a rigorous process of auditions, Sarah Axtell and Emily Van Den Hul, Vermillion natives and students at the local middle school, won those roles and now find themselves immersed in the world of theatre and looking forward to performances of The Secret Garden Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

Tickets to The Secret Garden are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens (62+), $8 for youth (k-12 and non-USD students), and $4 for USD students with a valid University ID. The box office will be open in the afternoons beginning Monday, Nov. 21. Phone reservations can be made by calling the box office at (605) 677-5400.

Based on the popular novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox (Axtell), an 11-year-old orphan who, after surviving a cholera epidemic in India, is sent to Yorkshire, England, to live with Archibald Craven, a reclusive uncle, and his invalid son Colin (Van Den Hul) on their estate.�Archibald (Andy Heller, Omaha, NE), who continues to grieve the loss of his beloved wife Lily (Nanette Hofer, Sioux Falls) who died 10 years earlier during childbirth, casts a dark shadow over the manor until Mary discovers a secret garden that once belonged to Lily.

By nursing the much neglected garden back to life, Mary magically restores life to her grieving uncle and his sick son.

Matt Nesmith (Brookings), a third year graduate student in the M.F.A. directing program who also recently completed a master of music degree at USD, serves as stage and music director. Dr. Rick Rognstad (Vermillion), professor of music, conducts the orchestra, while while theatre faculty Tim Case (Sioux City, IA) designs the scenery and Amanda Fehlner (Tabor, IA) designs the costumes. Debra Workman (Vermillion) is choreographer, and Priscilla Hagen (Vermillion) serves as dialect coach. Graduate student Susan Hill (Albuquerque, NM) designs the lighting, and Chris Schloss (Yankton), an undergraduate theatre major, coordinates the sound design.

The Secret Garden opened on Broadway at the St. James Theater on April 25, 1991. The cast featured Mandy Patinkin as Archibald, Rebecca Luker as Lily, and Daisy Eagan as Mary. Ms. Eagan became the youngest actress ever to win a Tony for her portrayal of Mary.

y, while playwright Marsha Norman won a Tony Award for "Best Book of a Musical." Popular songs from the show include, Lily's Eyes, A Bit of Earth, and Come Spirit, Come Charm.�

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>