The annual fall theater production will explore love, loss, grief, and growth.
“The Secret Garden” opened last weekend and runs through homecoming weekend.
“This fall, we wanted to do something a little different than Disney, something more thoughtful, sobering and nourishing, and the time has seemed perfect to place this beautiful story on its feet at Trevecca.” says Jeff Frame, professor of communication studies.
The show centers around the character of Mary Lennox, an orphan who goes to live in the English countryside at Misselthwaite manor with relatives she has never met before. Mary’s uncle is still reeling from the death of his wife, Lily, who died while giving birth to her son, Colin.
A unique aspect to the story is that many of the characters are dead, and their ghosts are the ones who are telling the story throughout the musical. The story itself deals with themes of love and loss, grief, and growth. The idea of new birth in the spring is portrayed through the music of Lucy Simon, with the story and lyrics written by Marsha Norman.
“This musical is meaningful for so many reasons,” says McKenzie Bryan, who plays a lead role of Mary’s Aunt Lily. “At its core, it is a story about love and loss. It is about learning to move on from the past and to find a future in all the good, beautiful things and people around you.”
The cast and crew is made up of around 30 students.
The number of hours put into the musical varies depending on what part a person plays, but for Bryan, her lead role has her working on the stage and set roughly 30 to 40 hours a week. This includes rehearsals, set construction and character study and research that Bryan does on her own time.
Students said it’s easy to apply the themes of the show to their lives.
“The Secret Garden’ is a story of renewal and forgiveness, something we could all use more of in our lives,” says Peyton Williams, who plays Mrs. Claire Holt.
Throughout the show, grief is present, but there are tendrils of hope that shine through the cracks.
“There is life after grief, and this musical conveys that in the loveliest way. One of the lines in the show is ‘Come to my garden where love grows free and wild.’” says Bryan.
The show will run in Benson Auditorium Nov. 2-4 with matinee performances on Nov. 3 and 4. To learn more or purchase tickets visit www.trevecca.edu/theatre.