Directed by ACT’s Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine and Musical Director, Bryan Perri, ACT of Connecticut’s 2022-2023 season reaches its pinnacle with a mind-blowing performance.
Theater-goers begin a magical journey into THE SECRET GARDEN before they even see the stage. A terraced garden beckons you in where the sound of birds chirping heightens the senses preparing the audience for the experience that awaits.
Have you ever felt a loved one’s presence after they have left the world? Levine’s clever use of color brings deceased loved ones into the world again. Pictures hanging on the wall transform before your eyes conveying the message that spirits can penetrate the afterlife to observe and influence those they have left behind. The use of an LED screen backdrop innovatively creates a stark contrast between life and the netherworld.
The casting is flawless; each character is seemingly made for the role they are passionately playing. The audience is captivated in the very first scene when the spirit of beautiful Lily played by ACT co-founder Katie Diamond sings a powerful rendition of Clusters of Crocus while appearing to float across the stage.
Eleven-year-old orphan Mary Lennox (Charlotte Ewing) is the show-stopper. She leaves an indelible mark on the audience. We empathize and grieve with this child who has suddenly lost both parents to cholera. We watch in awe as her character brilliantly and profoundly transforms from a bitter uppity aristocrat into the salt of the Earth.
She grieves her mother Rose, played by Juliet Lambert Pratt, and father Albert (Constantine Pappas) but by way of their spirits, it’s evident that love never dies.
From a life full of family and privilege, Mary suddenly finds herself in a place where deep sorrow stymies her only relatives left on Earth from living. After losing his wife Lily in childbirth, Mary’s uncle Archibald Craven (Brian Golub) whom she is sent to live, is bitter and broken. He prevents his crippled son Colin (Jasper Burger and George Aronow) from growing and healing, and prohibits anyone to enter and tend to Lily’s beloved garden.
We watch as troubled orphan Mary’s heart begins to soften and she finds healing, hope and happiness through the bounty of nature, unlikely friendships, and the powerful spirits of those she’s loved and lost.
It’s not royalty but those in humble positions who help Mary to find her purpose in life. Martha (Laura Woyask), the maid, her younger brother, Dickon (DJ Plunkett) and the gardener Ben (John Baker) show Mary a new and better world - one with jump ropes, melodious robins, and secret gardens.
Mary unlocks the forbidden door and brings more than the secret garden back to life.
“When a thing is a wick it has life about it… somewhere there’s a single streak of green inside it.”
THE SECRET GARDEN runs from May 18 through June 11. Purchase your tickets NOW for this enchanting production and grand finale of ACT of CT’s 5th season by clicking here or by calling the box office (475) 215-5497
Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
Sunday, May 28 at 7PM
Sunday, May 28 at 2pm - This matinee is reserved only for our patrons who require adjusted production elements in order to enjoy the performance (it is not open to the public). Please contact the box office for more information or visit our Sensory Friendly Performance page to read about the program.
** Additional “family night” performance on Sunday 5/28 at 7pm