The Secret Garden is the story of Mary Lennox, an eleven year-old girl orphaned while living in India by an outbreak of Cholera. She is sent to the care of her uncle, Archibald Craven, a hunchback and a recluse who spends his days mourning the death of his wife, Lily, in a crumbling manor on the Yorkshire moors. Ignored by her uncle and reticent as a result of the many tragedies in her life, Mary at first rejects her new home. She is taken under the wing of the servants stationed at the Craven estate, Misselthwaite, and slowly comes out of her shell. She explores the manor’s halls, its overgrown topiary maze, and the surrounding moors, discovering as she does that Misselthwaite holds many secrets. Among these are a garden, locked and forgotten after its caretaker, Lily, died, and a bed-ridden child, Colin—Archibald and Lily’s son—hidden away by a wounded father and his jealous brother. Mary sets out to restore Lily’s secret garden, along the way healing her sickly cousin and her haunted uncle.
Adapted from the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden was written by Lucy Simon (music) and Marsha Norman (lyrics). It premiered on Broadway in 1991, where it ran for 709 performances and received three Tony awards.