UW-Richland Theatre “The Secret Garden” ~Open Auditions

University of Wisconsin – Richland
Theatre to produce “The Secret Garden”

Production in early April 2011.

Auditions for the musical are January 25-27, 2011.  Student and community actors are welcome to audition. Be prepared to read and sing. Roles for 12 males and 10 females, including major roles for youth.

Director Andrew Sharp recently announced that UW-Richland Theatre’s spring play will be the musical The Secret Garden.

This musical in two acts is based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a magical story that many will remember from their youth. The music is by Lucy Simon and the book and lyrics by Marsha Norman.

Set in Colonial India and England in 1906, The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary, an orphan sent from India to live with her uncle in Yorkshire after her family dies during a cholera epidemic. Her Uncle Archibald is still mourning the loss of his wife Lily who died a decade ago. Mary finds life in her uncle’s 100-room mansion Misselthwaite gloomy and miserable, yet she remains positive and determined. Things begin to change when Mary discovers a mysterious walled garden on the manor grounds, a place that’s been locked since her Aunt Lily died. 


There are roles for 12 males and 10 females, including at least two boys and one girl. Young people will have major roles in this production as the central characters are children. Sharp said that children age 11 and up are welcome to audition.

Adults as well as young people, experienced performers as well as those new-to-the-stage are welcome to audition, as UW-Richland Theatre has a proud tradition of involving campus and community people both on and off stage. UW-Richland students are, of course, encouraged to participate.

Those auditioning should be prepared to read and sing.
Musical director Peggy Veith will accompany them on the piano.

Those interested in working with the production in behind-the-scenes capacities are encouraged to come to auditions to provide information and learn more about ways they could be involved.

Auditions are scheduled in the Coppertop Theatre on the UW-Richland campus beginning at  6:30 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, January 25, 26, and 27.

UW-Richland is located at 1200 Highway 14 West in Richland Center.
Rehearsals will generally be held weekday evenings, with some weekend rehearsals closer to production dates planned for early April.
Contact the Director, Mr. Andrew Sharp with questions at rilliam@charter.net or by phone  647-7373.

This announcement is made merely to inform you of upcoming auditions, as we know many homeschool students in the area desire the opportunity to be part of a theatrical production.

It’s a good idea to be familiar with the script of any production before auditioning.  In doing so for this production, it came to my attention that this musical version of “The Secret Garden” is not the same as the book many of us have come to know and love.    (Here is an online web link to the script being used to review for yourself.)

This version, while based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is a “haunting and magical story filled with spirits.”  After reading the first of the two Acts, I was quite surprised.  While open to directorial interpretation, the script has a Gothic Horror feeling to it that I personally found bothersome.  In speaking to other area homeschoolers, I realized I was not alone in my feelings.

The above statements are merely personal opinion and are not made to influence others. 

The Director for a production such as this has the ability to adjust the feeling of the play and the portrayal of characters and settings.   Theater, as with any artistic endeavor, has the power to be used for good; and we all must make decisions for our own families.   UW-Richland has a fine record of previous productions.  You may contact the Director, Mr. Andrew Sharp with questions.



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