‘Secret Garden’ tells of nature’s healing powers
Mary (Teya Bryan) and Colin (Eben Wagner) will experience the healing powers of the secret garden.

‘Secret Garden’ tells of nature’s healing powers

BELLOWS FALLS — When the curtain rises Friday, Oct. 25, at the Bellows Falls Opera House on the Main Street Arts production of The Secret Garden, the audience will be invited to “dig into the magic of a little bit of earth.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett likely couldn't have imagined that the children's classic she penned in 1911 would resonate in 2019 with young and old who are concerned with climate change.

Director David Stern and his crew of actors, set builders, and costumers have created a magical world that jumps in and out of India and England as it tells the story of the healing power of the garden where Mary Lennox and the wheelchair-bound Colin Craven meet and find friendship, according to a news release.

“The garden is a symbol of transcendent beauty,” Stern said in the release, “so our set needs to be flexible, lush and gorgeous like Rachmaninoff.”

A large stained glass backdrop highlights that transcendence, with ghosts of lost wives and children revealed in magical ways behind translucent screens.

The large cast and crew includes about three dozen actors from age 12 to 71, another dozen who created the set under the direction of Bill Doran, a group of costumers led by Liz Guzynski, a lighting crew, and an orchestra of 17 led by Music Director Ken Olsson. Shoshana Bass and Annesa Hartman serve as choreographers, and Barbie Kurkul is stage manager.

The production kicks off with a free dress rehearsal for 500 local school children, for many their first experience of live musical theater.

Performances continue for two weekends, with performances Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 25, 26, Nov. 1 and 2, and Thursday, Oct. 31, all at 7:30 p.m., and matinees Saturdays, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, and Sunday, Oct. 27, all at 2 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mainstreetarts.org or by calling MSA at 802-869-2960 or in person at Village Square Booksellers. Youth (12 and under) and seniors (65 and over) can receive a 20 percent discount on the Oct. 27 matinee.

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