Full Length Musical, Drama / 12m, 10f, 1boy(s), 1girl(s)
This enchanting classic of children's literature is reimagined in brilliant musical style by composer Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of 'Night Mother. Orphaned in India, 11 year-old Mary Lennox returns to Yorkshire 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, dramatizing The Secret Garden's compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal.
Winner! 1991 Tony® Award for Best Book of a Musical.
Enchanting musical based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
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- WINNER! 1991 Tony Award® for Best Book of a Musical
NOMINEE! 1991 Tony Awards® for Best Musical and Best Score
WINNER! 1991 Drama Desk Award for Oustanding Book of a Musical
NOMINEE! 1991 Drama Desk Awards for Oustanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics
"Elegant, entrancing...The best American musical of the Broadway season." -Time
"A splendid, intelligent musical...It's all you can hope for in children's theatre. But the best surprise is that this show is the most adult new musical of the season."- USA Today
"A many splendored children's fable that neither cloys or loses grip on its unique spell."-Newsday
"Revels in theatrical imagination [and] achieves the irresistible appeal that moves audiences to standing ovations."-Christian Science Monitor
ON BREAKING CHARACTER
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KeywordsChildhood, Friendship, Illness/Health, Love, Memory, Parenting/Family, Adolescence/Childhood
- No Special Cautions
- Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
- Time Period: 1900-1910
- Setting: 1906. Colonial India and Misselthwaite Manor in North Yorkshire, England.
- Features / Contains: Period Costumes
- Musical Style: Classic Broadway
- Vocal Demands: Difficult
- Orchestra Size: Large
- Chorus Size: Small
Casting12m, 10f, 1boy(s), 1girl(s)
LILY - Female, 28-38 (Range: Soprano, Bb3-D6) Mary's aunt and Archibald Craven's wife. Died of a tragic accident within her garden and metaphorically haunts the walls of Misselthwaite Manor.
MARY LENNOX - Female, 10 (Range: Young Voice, Ab3-D5) A ten year-old girl sent to live with her uncle, Archibald, when her parents die from cholera in India. Quite the curious explorer, and often finding herself in trouble. Stubborn and always fighting for what she believes in.
MRS. MEDLOCK - Female, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Archibald’s housekeeper. As cold as the Misselthwaite Manor.
DR. NEVILLE CRAVEN - Male, 35-45 (Range: Baritone, C3-F#4) Archibald’s brother. Trapped by the idea that he is responsible for the caretaking of Colin. Even though he was never loved back by Lily, he is still in love with her. This adds to his unwillingness to move on and leave Misselthwaite.
MARTHA - Female, 18-30 (Range: Mezzo-Soprano Belt, G3-D5) A faithful housemaid. Grew up near Yorkshire and has the accent to prove it. Although she is from a lower class family, her wisdom is often far beyond her age.
ARCHIBALD CRAVEN - Male, 35-45 (Range: Baritone, C3-A4) Mary's uncle and lord of Misselthwaite Manor. He has a hunch-back. Haunted by the past and afraid of the future, he locks himself away both physically and mentally. Mary painfully reminds him too much of his wife, Lily, who died ten years ago.
BEN WEATHERSTAFF - Male, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible, E3-D#4) Head gardener. Secretly entrusted to take care of the garden after Lily’s death. Knows a great deal about the history of the garden and the grounds it sits on. He has worked for the family for many years. He calls himself “an old man.”
DICKON - Male, 16-25 (Range: Tenor, D3-G4) Martha's younger brother. Looks after the sick plants and animals within the Misselthwaite grounds—including Mary. He is a young man who is between the world of child imagination and adult reasoning. Befriends Mary and convinces her to take care of the Garden.
COLIN CRAVEN - Male, 10 (Range: Young Voice, A3-E5) Archibald's ten year-old son. Spent his life in bed due to a heart condition. He is very stubborn and throws temper tantrums to get what he wants. He believes his father hates him for causing Lily’s death.
MRS. WINTHROP - Female, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Headmistress of a private school. Prides herself on nurturing girls with tempers. Mary seems to be more than she can handle.
The Following characters, referred to collectively as the Dreamers, are people from Mary's life in India, who haunt her until she finds her new life in the course of the story. They are free to sing directly to us, appearing and disappearing at will.
ROSE LENNOX - Female, 28-38 (Range: Soprano, A3-D6) Mary's mother. A “dreamer” from the past who doesn’t understand how her sister Lily could truly love Archibald. Very loyal to her husband and refuses to leave India during the cholera outbreak that takes her life.
CAPTAIN ALBERT LENNOX - Male, 30-40 (Range: Tenor, D3-A5) Mary's father. Tries to send Rose out of India during the cholera outbreak.
ALICE - Female, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Rose's friend.
LIEUTENANT WRIGHT - Male, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Officer in Mary's father's unit.
LIEUTENANT SHAW - Male, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Fellow officer.
MAJOR SHELLEY - Male, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Officer.
MRS. SHELLEY - Female, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Major Shelley's wife.
MAJOR HOLMES - Male, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Officer.
CLAIRE HOLMES - Female, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Major Holmes' wife.
FAKIR - Male, Age Flexible (Range: Tenor, C3-B4) Itinerant Hindu ascetic.
AYAH - Female, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible) Mary's Indian nanny.
- Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
- Features Children
- Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Music Material Rental Packages
Woodwind I (Flute, Piccolo, Recorders, Clarinet, Pan Pipes)
Woodwind II (Oboe, English Horn)
Woodwind III (Clarinet, Bass Clarinet)
Percussion (Keyboard III, Bell, Bell-Tree, Chimes, Finger Cymbal, Suspended Cymbal, Frame Drum, Tom Drum, Glockenspiel, Hindu Ankle Bells, Hindu Shaker, Indian Ankle Bell, Indian Bell Stick, Marimba, Mark Tree, Ship Bell, Tabla, Tambourine, Timpani, Toy Drum, Ratchet, Small Triangle, Medium Triangle, Large Triangle, Wood Block, Tom-Tom)
20 Chorus Books
The Secret Garden opened at the St. James Theatre on April 25, 1991 after 23 previews. The show played for a total of 709 performances and closed on January 3, 1993.