Fall Theatre Production: “Come to My Garden”

Katie+Manderfeld+%2811%29+and+Maddie+Newman+%2812%29+in+The+Secret+Garden
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Fall Theatre Production: “Come to My Garden”

Katie Manderfeld (11) and Maddie Newman (12) in The Secret Garden

Katie Manderfeld (11) and Maddie Newman (12) in The Secret Garden

Photo courtesy of Wayzata Players

Katie Manderfeld (11) and Maddie Newman (12) in The Secret Garden

Photo courtesy of Wayzata Players

Photo courtesy of Wayzata Players

Katie Manderfeld (11) and Maddie Newman (12) in The Secret Garden

Zaid Elbaroudi, Staff Writer

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  The Wayzata Theatre Program has struck gold once again with its production of The
Secret Garden. This amazing musical is centered around a dark and gloomy story.
  The story is about a little girl named Mary Lennox, whose family died from a cholera outbreak in India. Mary is sent to Britain to live with her Uncle Archibald, who is emotionally paralyzed by the death of his wife.
  Archibald and his son Colin both grew up in a troubled, broken home. Over time, Mary helps Archibald and Colin recover and piece their family back together.
  According to director Sonia Gerber, the story is quite different from other plays the school has previously done.
  Gerber said, “While The Secret Garden does have some dark elements, it is also a truly uplifting story of hope and renewal.”
  “The play touches on the feeling of belonging and the sense of a journey the main character goes through,” said Senior Stephanie Ye, co-cast as Mary Lennox with Junior Katie Manderfeld. The music does a great job of telling the story and delivering emotion with it. Senior Jon Motes, who plays Archibald Craven, said, “There aren’t a lot of spoken words in the show compared to other musicals, because so much of it is through music and so much of the emotional complexity is found in the music.”
  “The music is very operatic and dramatic,” said West Middle School sixth grader Hugo Mullaney, who plays Colin Craven. “It also tells a lot of story. The music shows off the different types of characters and their emotions.”
  Manderfeld said, “The music can be very beautiful at times, but it can also be very scary at times.”
  “There are definitely songs in the musical for everybody. There are really fun ones, and then some really emotional ones.”
  “The show blends dreams, reality, and memories. Much of the ensemble represents spirits who ‘haunt’ the live characters. We utilized many theatrical elements to help the audience understand those complexities,” said Gerber.
  The cast of The Secret Garden includes the cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Gerber said. “That show helped those students to form a strong connection with the WHS theatre program.”
  “That show pushed each of them as artists. The ninth and tenth grade musical is meant to support growth and opportunity for our underclassmen in hopes of building skills to prepare them for larger opportunities as upperclassmen,” said Gerber
  The extremely talented cast brings life and emotion to the play.
  “We worked on physical and vocal choices to shape and define characters and also clarified how they relate to other characters in the play,” said Gerber. “I also chose to share personal connections I had to the piece with the cast, which allowed us to discuss the meaning and relevance of the work in a different way.”
  “Theatre has the power to touch and inspire people in such an immediate way because it is live and a shared experience with the audience,” said Gerber.
  The musical does just that. The actors do such an amazing job of portraying the characters so that the audience can feel the emotions through the music and acting. This program goes far beyond the expectations of a high school performance.

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