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