“The Secret Garden” taking the stage at the Jefferson Center

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – The book “The Secret Garden” helped generations of readers learn to cope with loss through the eyes of Mary Lennox. Now it’s a musical production presented by the Virginia Children’s Theater on October 7 and 8.

“This is a story of life. It’s a story of the circle of life. It’s love. It’s loss. It’s pain and it’s inspiration. It’s all these things that we go through every day,” says Virginia Children’s Theater Producing Artistic Director, Brett Roden.

Virginia Children’s Theater veteran Campbell Duff brings the character of Mary to life on stage.

“Mary is this girl. I believe in the book, she’s 10 years old. She lives in India and her parents die of cholera, so she has to go live with her uncle, Archibald,” says Duff.

From there, he meets other family members as he deals with his grief.

Duff says that to prepare for the emotional role, she looked deep within herself.

“His parents died. That’s something I’ve never had to deal with, and that’s hard. The loss is really hard. So, just pulling from that and then pulling from the sadness that I’ve experienced in My life is very powerful on stage,” says Duff.

For director Liz Piccoli, there were some challenges in bringing the beloved children’s tale to the live theater.

“Trying to cast in the perception, OK, I’m the flower. I’m the wind. I’m all these natural elements. I think it was a challenge, but a fantastic creative challenge. That shift to this magical reality. I was give chills every time,” says Piccoli.

What can give the audience chills is seeing this timeless story performed against the backdrop of a beautiful set and a live orchestra.

“Come with an open mind. And watch the show as a whole. And watch each character and see how amazing all the actors on the show are,” says Duff.

Click here for a link to purchase tickets.

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