An orphan girl, an invalid boy, and a magical garden that brings them together to find healing are at the heart of The Secret Garden, to be performed at York College October 20-23. The musical based on the literary classic will take audience members on an emotional journey filled with music, choreography, and spectacle, say show directors John I Baker and Dr. Clark Roush.

Reserve Tickets

"The talent level is very high in this production,” Baker said. “Audience members can expect a quality, professional show that will do more than entertain them. It will move them to laughter and tears.”

Baker says that a major theme of this uplifting production is letting go of the past and finding joy in new places. The show is staged very much like a Broadway musical, with set pieces that are simple and representative rather than elaborate, says Baker. A chorus, called the Dreamers, play multiple roles in the show—sometimes adding visual depth through their choreography, other times becoming part of the set, and most often creating the mood as they narrate parts of the play in song.

One of the best moments of the show is when the Dreamers portray the once-dead garden coming back to life. Movement, lighting, and music make this a magical moment in the production, says Choreographer Morgan Goracke. The choreography is often more of a supporting element, creating layers of meaning, sound and movement to the main action; however, in the garden resurrection scene, the Dreamers take center stage.  

The Dreamers cast includes Deidre Freitas, Jacob Wirka, Hannah Anderson, Sami Berry, Olivia Nabb, Colby Smith, Aubrey Tate, Nathan Clark, Austin Hackel, Grady Johnson, and Caleb Magner.

​Students are putting 4-6 hours a day into rehearsal as they practice music, movement, and acting. “I’m blessed to have a cast and crew that is willing to put in the time to do this much work,” Baker said. “This is not an easy show to do. It’s not a fluffy musical. It’s a show that has a lot of substance and will really touch our audiences.”
"We hope to bring to life something beautiful,” Baker said. “It’s an engaging show, not a ‘boring classic.’ It is a show that really pulls you in.”
Pianist Kay Magner serves as the show’s accompanist.

The Secret Garden is a show for the whole family, says Music Director Clark Roush. “It has some very beautiful melodies and the period costuming is going to be impressive.” The costumes are professionally custom-made for this production, added Goracke.

Senior music majors Soren Tobey and Nolan Henningson portray the lead characters of Mary Lennox and Archibald Craven. For both students, this will be their final York College theatre appearance. Other cast members include Gabrielle Siebenaler, Tommy Eckhart, Brinna Horvath, Moses Guillen, Josh Anderson, Natalie Ostrander, Ainsley Mountjoy, Danielle Palensky, and Ryan Harrison. York Elementary student Boe Fraser plays Colin Craven, the invalid child who finds healing through his experiences with the garden.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Performances will be held in the Bartholomew Performing Arts Center (address). Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 20-22, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 23, will feature a matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. Tickets may be reserved at by calling 402-363-5640 and paid for at the box office at least ten minutes prior to the start of the show.

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