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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

April 1, 2005

Spring musical is The Secret Garden

by Dave Gieseke, LAS Public Relations

The children's novel and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, The Secret Garden, comes to the Fisher Theater stage for two weeks this month.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. April 8, 9, 15 and 16, and at 2 p.m. April 10 and 17. School matinees will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12-13. The "Stars Over ISU" production is sponsored by LINC (Leaders Inspiring Connections), the music department and ISU Theatre.

Based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden tells the story of orphan Mary Lennox, a young girl sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, in Yorkshire, England.

Still grieving over the loss of his wife, Lily, who died 10 years earlier during childbirth, and distraught over the condition of his bedridden son, Archibald casts a dark shadow over the manor until Mary discovers a secret garden that once belonged to Lily. By nursing the garden back to life, Mary also restores life to her grieving uncle and his sick son.

The musical opened on Broadway in 1991 and won a Tony Award for "Best Book of a Musical."

"We wanted something family-oriented," said assistant professor of music Terence Goodman, who is directing the musical. "Secret Garden is based on a much-beloved children's book, but it also has a very sophisticated message for adults."

Goodman describes the musical as operatic in form, with 36 songs.

"It has some of the best music to come out of Broadway in years," he said. "That gives our music students a chance to do something that is vocally extremely challenging."

Ames Middle School student Hannah VanEvery is cast in the lead role of Mary. Her understudy is Rachel Paxton, an Ames elementary student. Scott MacDonald, another Ames elementary student, plays Mary's bedridden cousin.

Iowa State students with lead roles in The Secret Garden include Joe Wilgenbusch as Archibald, Kelly Kruse as Lily, Kate Johnson as Mrs. Medlock, Katie Mozack as Martha, Micah Morgan as Dr. Craven, Tyler Brown as Ben and Ted Brimeyer as Dickon.

Tickets are $18 for adults ($17 for seniors, $10 for students and children) and available at the Stephens box office, or by calling 4-3347.

Secret Garden cast

Mary (Hannah VanEvery, Ames); Dickon (ISU student Ted Brimeyer) and cousin Colin (Scott MacDonald, Ames) explore the garden at Colin's house in ISU Theatre's The Secret Garden. Photo by Patrick Gouran.