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The Secret Garden

Kim Doose

The Secret Garden is a story about how life can be spoiled by selfishness and sorrow or enjoyed with an open heart and a little magic.The Defiance Community Players and CMC Theatre will present The Secret Garden at the Glenwood Springs High School tonight, Friday and Saturday nights.The play opens in India in the 1900s. After her parents die of cholera, Mary Lennox, played by 12-year-old Cassidy Lehrman, is sent to live in a cold and gloomy mansion in England with her rich uncle, Archibald Craven, played by Andy Russell.While Craven is busy brooding over the death of his beloved wife, Mary is left alone with her curious self to explore the manor. When a chambermaid, played by Elyse Porterfield, befriends Mary with her booming Yorkshire accent and obliging songs, she is one of the catalysts in an amusing cast of characters that will lead Mary towards a new life.As Mary discovers secret doors, rooms and gardens she meets Dickon, played brilliantly by Seth Washburn, who shows Mary that since he can grow anything with a little bit of soil, she can believe and wish for things that might not seem possible.Next Mary meets her cousin, Colin, played by Silas Buss, who is bedridden, crippled and spoiled. Yet even he is able to help Mary transform the dead garden into a beautiful one, an act which is symbolic of their own desire to love and be loved in a real family. But backstage they were feeling the love.That audience is going to love you! Let them love you! said director Tom Cochran, minutes before show time. The audience did love them, especially Lehrman, who has just as much energy backstage as she does onstage.It was hard to believe this was her first theater performance. One might expect her to be quelling her own nerves, but instead she reminded cast mates about a tricky prop and gave encouragement to others. While other actors finished a photo op, Lehrman stopped, proclaimed the photograph a success and said, Thats going to be a great picture! I want you to know that. She has the curiosity of a newcomer and the confidence of a veteran.Lorraine Curry directed the eight-piece orchestra that produced haunting melodies, operatic solos and duets that interplayed beautifully with the story.When Curry realized the original score had several keys as well as difficult key and timing changes, she rewrote much of the music.The music tells the story. You could do it without words, said Kristin Carlson, who played Lily, one of the lead roles. Carlson graces her scenes with a luminous and hypnotic voice that captures the thoughts of a lost, lingering love.The play is a stirring statement of life and love that leaves the audience with a dusting of its magic, which has already fallen onto lead actor Lehrman, who has an idea of what she wants to do next.Personally I want to go to Los Angeles for the pilot season! she said.Just remember that you saw her here first.

From left, Kelly Jerles-Blackwelder, of New Castle, vocal director for the play, is a teacher at the Garden School as well as a performer; Thomas Cochran, who directed the play, is drama professor at CMC; and co-producer Kathy Barta of Glenwood is promotion account manager at Blizzard Internet Marketing.

From left, Andy Russell, of Glenwood, played Archibald Craven and works for CQG; Ashley Porterfield, 13, of Glenwood, played Jane and is in eighth grade at Glenwood Springs Middle School; Ruthie Parrish, of Glenwood, played Rose and works for Drs. Robert and John Murray and is music director at Good Shepherd Lutheran; and Paul Hamilton, of Glenwood, played Major Shelley and is a CPA at Dalby Wendland & CO.

From left, Marti Duprey, of Glenwood, is co-producer; music director Lorraine Curry is a musician and teaches at The Waldorf School in Carbondale; and Dixie McClenahan, of Glenwood, has been the costumer for Defiance since the 1970s.

From left, China Kwan, of Glenwood, who owns Indigenous Images, played Fakir; Kristin Carlson, of Glenwood, a corporate communications writer, played Lily; Susan Lau, of Carbondale, a church administrator, played Ayah; and Lindsey Mills, of Glenwood, a nanny who is pursuing her teaching degree at CMC and Mesa State, played Mrs. Shelley.

Musicians, from left, Dory Light, of Glenwood, a teacher at CMC, played keyboards; Eileen Martin, of Glenwood, who works for Peter Martin Insurance, played the violin; and Zac Milby, 16, of New Castle, a sophomore at Bridges High School, played the violin.

From left, Doug Sheffer, of Basalt, who owns DBS Helicopters, played Ben the gardner; Chip Winn Wells, of Glenwood, an actor, played Mrs. Medlock the housekeeper; Dawn Michele, of Glenwood, an actor, played Alice; and Laurie Thomson, of Glenwood, a purchasing agent, played Mrs. Winthrop the headmistress.

From left, Mike Banks, of Glenwood, a glazier, played Dr. Neville Craven; Mallerie Neal, 15, of Glenwood, a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School, played a maid; Elyse Porterfield, 16, of Glenwood, a junior at Glenwood Springs High School, played Martha the chambermaid; and Ben Fout, 15, of New Castle, a freshman at the Garden School, played Lieutenant Ian Shaw.

Musicians, from left, Ken Woods, of Glenwood, who works for Aspen Research Group, played the trombone; Craig Curry, of Glenwood, who works for Aspen Research Group, played bass; Katie White, of Glenwood, promotion account manager at Blizzard Internet Marketing, played the flute and piccolo; Karin White, of Glenwood, co-founder and member of the symphony, played the flute and piccolo; and Bob Hendee, of Glenwood, a grocery store manager, played the clarinet.


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