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Secret Garden to be Staged by Theatre Department


The Williams Baptist College theatre program will end its 2010-11 season with a production of The Secret Garden, according to Melinda Williams, assistant professor of communication arts. The play will be staged April 7 and 8.

The production, adapted by April-Dawn Gladu from the book by Frances Hodges Burnett, is the story of a young girl, Mary, orphaned by a cholera outbreak, and her persistence at healing both a garden and a young boy. "Mary is sent to live with her uncle where she discovers that her cousin is supposedly confined to a wheelchair," Williams explained. "But, Mary won't accept that."

According to Williams, director of the production, Mary uncovers the healing power of a garden that has been locked up. "The garden heals both Mary and her cousin," the director concluded.

Featured in the production are Anna Hayden of Conway, Ark., as Mary, Christina Graham of Jonesboro, Ark., as Colin, Mary's cousin, and Elizabeth Fehr of Poplar Grove, Ark., as Dickon, their friend.

However, not all the characters in the play are convinced of Mary's positive effect on the household. "The head housekeeper feels Mary is disruptive to the manor," Williams said. The housekeeper, Mrs. Medlock, is played by Rachel Carter of Crossett, Ark., a senior at WBC.

But, the director explained, the rest of the household staff welcome the life Mary brings to the dismal environment. The characters of the groundskeeper, Ben, and Martha, a servant, are played by Branden Caffoe of Bull Shoals, Ark., and Samantha Wilson of Batesville, Ark., respectively. Nick McGinnis of Jonesboro rounds out the cast as Mary's uncle, Archibald Crave.

The production will be April 7 and 8, Thursday and Friday, in the Old Chapel on the WBC campus. Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m. with admission $1 for senior citizens and students and $3 general admission.

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