Performances begin nightly at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 and are available for purchase by calling the Shorter University Box Office at 706-233-7288 or emailing email@example.com. The event is free to all students from any institution with student ID. Group rates are available. The Rome City Auditorium is located at 601 Broad Street in downtown Rome.
The Secret Garden is the story of 11-year-old Mary Lennox, who returns to Yorkshire after being orphaned in India to live with her embittered, reclusive uncle Archibald and his invalid son Colin. The estate’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the “Dreamers,” spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life.
The production features the classic tale reimagined in brilliant musical style by composer Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of ’Night Mother. The year The Secret Garden made its Broadway debut, it ran for 709 performances and won three Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Featured Actress, and Best Scenic Design.
“The Secret Garden was the first musical I ever directed,” said Kevin Anderton, chair of the Shorter University Theatre Department and director of the production. “As I revisit it 14 years later, the story and the music still speak to me. Pain, hope, loss, happiness, and life are wrapped within the characters, and those characters parallel the garden so perfectly.
“The Secret Garden truly speaks to the human condition,” he added. “We are using a full orchestra for the show, which will bring out the beauty of the music and lyrics. The cast and I hope to take the audience on a journey of renewal and forgiveness.”
Alan Wingard, dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Shorter, added, “The Shorter University Theatre Department has a long tradition of presenting outstanding plays and musicals for the Rome community. We take pride in the excellent work of our theatre faculty and students and look forward to filling the Rome City Auditorium for each of these outstanding performances.”
Cast members include: Garrett Baker – Archibald Craven; Christine Barnes - Jane, Dreamer;
Emily Bateman – Dreamer; Kayla Bettes – Colin Craven; Megan Burrell – Mrs. Medlock; Taylor Camp – Martha; Marc Deguzis – Lieutenant Peter Wright, Dreamer; Anthony Dyches – Captain Albert Lennox, Dreamer; Shelby Folks – Mary Lennox; Nathaniel Fox – Fakir, Dreamer; Savannah Gillam – Ayah, Dreamer; Katelyn Johnson – Claire Holmes, Mrs. Shelley, Lily Understudy; Kaitlin Kennedy – Rose Lennox, Dreamer; Kristina Kennedy – Lily Craven; Jahi Mims – Lieutenant Ian Shaw, Dreamer; Joel Norman – Dickon; Ashley Phillips – Alice, Dreamer, Mrs. Winthrop; and Cameron Stewart – Ben Weatherstaff, Major Shelley
In addition to Anderton serving as director, several other faculty members from Shorter’s School of Fine and Performing Arts are also involved with the production. Dr. Eric McCluskey, assistant professor of voice, is portraying Major Holmes, and Daniel Ng, staff accompanist, is portraying Dr. Neville Craven. Julie Bearden Carver, assistant professor of music, is musical director. Shell Benjamin, assistant professor of theatre and dance, is choreographer, and Ted Thomas, technical director for theatre, is technical director. Jan Nisbet is the costumer.
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