Con­estoga Chris­tian School presents ‘The Se­cret Gar­den’

The Southern Berks News - - RELIGION -

Stu­dents at Con­estoga Chris­tian School will per­form the Broad­way mu­si­cal The Se­cret Gar­den on Thurs­day and Fri­day, May 18 and 19, at 7 p.m. and on Satur­day, May 20, at 2 p.m.

With book, lyrics, and mu­sic by Pulitzer Prize win­ner Mar­sha Nor­man and Lucy Si­mon, The Se­cret Gar­den is based on the beloved chil­dren’s clas­sic of the same ti­tle by Frances Hodg­son Bur­nett, pub­lished in 1911. The mu­si­cal, di­rected by Kristin Smither and CCS mu­sic direc­tor Han­nah Stone, tells the story of a young girl, Mary Len­nox (Joyelle Watkins), whose par­ents die of the cholera in In­dia. She is sent to live with her reclu­sive un­cle Archibald Cravin (Sam Gar­rett) and his brother Dr. Neville Cravin (Chris Beck). Upon ar­riv­ing, she finds that the house is haunted by the souls of those that have died in the cholera, as well as her Aunt Lily (Lea Bren­ner), Archibald’s late wife, who died giving birth to his bedrid­den son Colin (Ben Al­lan), whom he never vis­its, ex­cept when Colin is sleep­ing. Mary also dis­cov­ers her Aunt Lily’s gar­den, hid­den, locked up, and overgrown. She, along with her friends Dickon (Tae­hee Um) and Martha (Emily Rader), are de­ter­mined to re­vive the for­saken gar­den and, in the process, bring life back to a house and a soul crip­pled by past sor­row and re­gret.

While the story may be fa­mil­iar to most au­di­ences, the mu­sic and score of this Broad­way mu­si­cal are mostly un­known. How­ever, the haunt­ingly beau­ti­ful melodies and the heart­warm­ing, in­spi­ra­tional songs make this sound­track mem­o­rable and im­pact­ful.

For mu­sic direc­tor Han­nah Stone, this show is fa­mil­iar and mem­o­rable, since she starred as Lily dur­ing her col­lege years. She says of the show, “[The Se­cret Gar­den] has one of the most beau­ti­ful mu­si­cal scores ever writ­ten, and it’s a story with depth that I wanted my stu­dents to ex­pe­ri­ence. We def­i­nitely had the cast for the chal­leng­ing mu­sic score.”

The cast in­cludes 18 mid­dle school and high school stu­dents, as well as a cameo per­for­mance by Tech Ed teacher Mr. Larry Ever­hart as Ben Weather­staff. The cast will be ac­com­pa­nied by a 18-piece pit orches­tra. Par­ent vol­un­teers and school staff mem­bers have col­lab­o­rated with stu­dents in set de­sign and paint­ing, stag­ing, light­ning, sound, cos­tumes, hair and makeup.

CCS stu­dents per­form a play each fall and a mu­si­cal each spring. Pre­vi­ous mu­si­cal per­for­mances in­clude “The Sound of Mu­sic,” “Mu­sic Man,” “My Fair Lady,” “God­spell,” and “You’re a Good Man, Char­lie Brown.”

CCS is lo­cated on Route 23, west of Morgantown. Each per­for­mance will have a 15-minute in­ter­mis­sion, dur­ing which re­fresh­ments will be avail­able for pur­chase. The doors will open 30 min­utes be­fore cur­tain times.

Ticket or­der forms are avail­able in the school of­fice or on­line at www.con­esto­gachris­tian.net. Ticket or­der forms may be mailed to the school along with the pay­ment and tick­ets will held un­til the night of the show. Ticket or­der forms may also be brought to the box of­fice dur­ing box of­fice hours, which are posted on the school web­site. For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion, please call the school at 610-286-0353 or visit the web­site.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Stu­dents at Con­estoga Chris­tian School per­form­ing the Broad­way mu­si­cal “The Se­cret Gar­den” are Lea Bren­ner, left, Chris Beck (stand­ing), Sam Gar­rett (seated), Joyelle Watkins.

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