THE SECRET GARDEN, THE MUSICAL Returns To The Chance By Popular Demand This Holiday Season

Back by popular demand! This enchanting musical adaptation of the timeless novel is perfect for the entire family.

By: Nov. 07, 2023
THE SECRET GARDEN, THE MUSICAL Returns To The Chance By Popular Demand This Holiday Season
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THE SECRET GARDEN, THE MUSICAL Returns To The Chance By Popular Demand This Holiday Season

Chance Theater, Anaheim's official resident theater company, has announced an encore presentation of “The Secret Garden, The Musical,” presented as part of Chance Theater's Holiday Literature Series. Adapted from the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, with book and lyrics by Marsha Norman, and music by Lucy Simon.

Casey Long & KC Wilkerson will be directing this mystical and spellbinding treat, with music direction by Gabrielle Maldonado and choreography by Robert Hahn. “Secret Garden” will preview from November 24 through December 1, regular performances will begin December 2 and continue through December 23 at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center on the Cripe Stage. 

Based on the popular children's book of the same name, “The Secret Garden” follows the story of Mary Lennox, a young British girl born and raised in Colonial India. When the 11-year-old's parents die in a cholera outbreak, she is sent to Yorkshire to live with a reclusive uncle, his invalid son — and a host of ghosts, spirits, and lost souls inhabiting Mary's new home. With the help of the spirits, Mary and a young gardener uncover the mystery of the manor's magical garden, bringing life to the neglected estate as Mary's own personality blossoms alongside the flowers. Filled with amazing music, elegant choreography, and a heartwarming story of forgiveness and renewal, “The Secret Garden” is the quintessential holiday musical for all ages.

Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved novel has been reimagined into a breathtaking musical that combines the power of storytelling with a breathtaking musical score. Audiences will embark on a journey with young Mary Lennox as she discovers a hidden garden, unlocking a world of secrets and miracles. With Marsha Norman's moving lyrics and Lucy Simon's evocative music, the production promises to ignite the imagination and touch the hearts of theater lovers of all ages.

“The Secret Garden” premiered in New York City on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 25, 1991, and closed on January 3, 1993, after 709 performances. That production was directed by Susan H. Schulman, with choreography by Michael Lichtefeld. The cast featured Daisy Eagan as Mary Lennox, Mandy Patinkin, Rebecca Luker, Robert Westenberg and John Cameron Mitchell. It won the 1991 Tony Awards for: Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Daisy Eagan), and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Landesman). At age 11, Eagan was the youngest female recipient of a Tony Award to date.

Joining Wilkerson, Long, Maldonado, and Hahn on the design team are production designer Masako Tobaru (“Ride the Cyclone”, resident artist), costume designer Erika C. Miller (“Little Women - The Broadway Musical”, resident artist), associate costume designer Gwen Sloan (Chance debut), stage manager Jordan Jones (“Matinicus - The Story of Abigail Burgess”), and dialect coach Glenda Morgan Brown (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”).

The cast of “The Secret Garden, The Musical” features Catherine Last and Elizabeth Last (Chance Debuts) as Mary Lennox, Troy Dailey (Chance Debut) as Archibald Craven, Laura M. Hathaway (“Big Fish,” resident artist) as Lily Craven, Kyle Critelli (Chance Debut) as Dr. Neville Craven, Christopher Diem (“Green Day's American Idiot,” resident artist) as Dickon, Sarah Pierce (“Little Women - The Broadway Musical”) as Martha, Charlie Firlik and Jacob Voight (Chance Debuts) as Colin Craven, Trina Estanislao (“The Mikado”) as Medlock, Ayah, and others, Matthew Noah (Chance Debut) as Ben Weatherstaff, Fakir, and others, Abigail Cox (Chance Debut) as Rose and others, Ryan J. Lloyd (“Parade”) as Albert and others, Tucker Boyes (“Little Women - The Broadway Musical”) as Archibald understudy, and Brooklyn Vizcarra (Chance Debut) as Martha understudy. 

Steven & Louise Koch are the Executive Producers for this production. Bette & Wylie Aitken are producers for the entire 2023 Season and The Family of Mary Kay Fyda-Mar are this season's associate producers.

Proud to be one of the leading ensemble-driven theatre companies in Southern California, CHANCE THEATER has received the National Theatre Company grant from American Theatre Wing for “nurturing a community of artists in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theatre.” The Chance recently won 14 OCTG Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Musical (“Next to Normal”) and Outstanding Production of a Play (“Cry It Out”). Previously, Chance Theater won eight OCTG Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Production of a Musical (“Fun Home”), eight Ovation Awards, including four for Best Production of a Musical (Intimate Theatre), and four LADCC Awards, including the Polly Warfield Award for Outstanding Season. The Anaheim City Council named Chance Theater “the Official Resident Theater Company of Anaheim” in 2014, and Arts Orange County has twice named the Chance as “Outstanding Arts Organization.” Known for using bold and personal storytelling to promote dialogue and connection within the Southern California theatrical landscape, the Chance is committed to contributing to a more compassionate, connected and creative community. As a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, The Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles, and OC Theatre Guild, Chance Theater continues to bring national attention to the Southern California and Orange County theater scenes.


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