The Secret Garden at the Ice House
A mysterious tale filled with splendid music, The Secret Garden opens at the Ice House on Friday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and continues for two weekends. A cast of 48 local adults and children perform and sing in the Ice House Theater Project production. Additional shows are Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 3 and 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 4 and 11 at 3 p.m. and a pay-what-you-can performance on Thursday, March 8 at 7 p.m. A new pay-what-you-can preview is scheduled for Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. The Secret Garden was written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Marsha Norman. Music is by Lucy Simon.
The story unfolds around a young English girl orphaned in India who is sent back to a misshapen uncle in England. The large cast is made up largely of ghosts – ghosts from the girl's past who appear in dream and memory sequences – and as guides in the present. A magic garden holds secrets and kindness leads the way to redemption.
Rachel Wurster and Willa Hahn share the role of the orphan girl Mary Lennox, and will alternate performances. Also featured in the cast are Henry Hickerson as the black-hearted Dr. Craven, Tim Brooks as the misshapen Uncle Archibald, Sharon Carpenter-Rose as the housekeeper, Ashley Shade as the wonderful cheerful maid, Gary McDaniel as the crusty old gardener Weatherstaff, Ben Brooks as Dickon, the boy who talks to animals, and Chenaya Milbourne as ghost Lily.
"The greatest challenge," said director Beth Brooks, "is to transform the set from India, to the interior of the manor house in Yorkshire, to the gardens, and from one room to another." Changing rooms is not the only challenge for Brooks. "People continually appear from Mary's past...we're not always sure whether the ghosts are in Mary's mind, or whether they are real." Brooks warns there may be tears from the audience. "It's a heart-wrenching story and the complex music makes it more so."
CNB is the play sponsor. A Secret Garden is produced by the Morgan Arts Council as part of the community Ice House Theater Project. To make reservations call the theater hotline at 304-258-2300.
The Ice House is located on Independence and Mercer streets in Berkeley Springs.