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Department Of Theatre And Media Arts

Planting Magic with BYU Theatre’s Secret Garden

Theatre Students Tell a Classic Tale in Musical Production of “The Secret Garden”

Reach down to the roots of your inner child with BYU Music Dance Theatre this November as a children’s classic comes to life with a musical production of “The Secret Garden.” The show opens November 3 in the West Campus Mainstage Theatre and runs until November 18.

Mary Lennox With Lily Craven. Photo Courtesy BYU Photo.

“The Secret Garden” is based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, adapted as a musical by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon. The show follows the story of Mary Lennox, a young orphan who is sent to live with her uncle in England. As she grows into her new home, she finds the key to a secret garden and reawakens the magic within. The show plants a tale of forgiveness and renewal that will leave audiences feeling fulfilled.

The directors, dramaturgs and cast cultivate the heart of the story in BYU’s production. Director Kris Peterson explained that Burnett’s decision to center the story around a child protagonist was deliberate because she didn’t feel that adults truly understood children.

“Through Marsha Norman’s Tony award-winning book and this sweeping score, not only do we get to see the world through Mary Lennox’s eyes, but we also remind ourselves of the tenacity, resiliency, imagination and magic that only children can navigate,” Peterson said.

Mary Lennox in the Secret Garden. Photo Courtesy BYU Photo.

BYU Theatre’s production chose to involve children as part of the show, including casting for the main character, Mary Lennox. “[The children] bring a completely different element to the work we have put onstage and we are thrilled to share that magic with our BYU audiences,” Peterson said.

The play’s dramaturgs Belle Frahm and Charlotte Westover channeled the transformative power of “a bit of earth” the musical explores by building their own garden at West Campus. In the same way Mary Lennox reawakened the magic of her uncle’s secret garden, Frahm and Westover aimed to reawaken life in the secluded building. The garden is open for everyone to appreciate: cast members, audiences, students at West Campus and anyone else who finds it.

The cast will offer post-show discussions after the showing on November 9 and 16.

An ASL interpretation will be available on November 9. Parents should note that this production is suitable for all children but intended for ages 8 and up.

Tickets and Show Details

Dates & Times: 

November 3–4, 7–11, 14–18 | 7:30 p.m.

November 4, 11, 18 | 2:00 p.m.

Location: West Campus Mainstage Theatre

Price: $22-27

Tickets: Available online at BYU tickets