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Alexandria Area Arts Association presents The Secret Garden

Actors in the Alexandria Area Arts Association's upcoming musical, The Secret Garden, include (left) David Christman, Bailey Myrin, Lindsey Johnston, Jessica Chipman and Daniel Walstad. (Contributed photo)

The Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) will kick off its 2012-13 season with the Tony award-winning musical, The Secret Garden, September 20-23 and 27-30. Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden is a coming of age story.

Mary, an 11-year-old living in British India, is forced from her home by tragedy. She finds herself living in Yorkshire, England, in Misselthwaite, the estate of her reclusive uncle, Archibald Craven. What ensues is a compelling mixture of love, suspense and rebirth in which the raw power of nature gives way to miracle and magic.

"The Secret Garden is a complex tale that explores not only loss, but ultimately hope," said production director Benjamin Klipfel.

The Secret Garden was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and playwright Marsha Norman, whose dialogue and lyrics have been featured in musicals such as The Color Purple and The Red Shoes. Norman's words are complemented by a score written by composer Lucy Simon.

Daniel Walstad, director at Sleepy Hollow Summer Theatre in Bismark, North Dakota, will design costumes for The Secret Garden, act in the show and teach classes on makeup.

The AAAA production is directed by Benjamin Klipfel, with vocal direction by Rachel Capistrant and orchestral direction by Mark Graf. Quincy Roers designed the set and lights. Hilary Ninman provided props, Lindsey Johnston provided choreography, and Deb Long will assist with hair and makeup. Emily Mertin is the accompanist.

The cast includes Bailey Myrin, David Allen Christman, Dedra Zweig, Colin Barten, Jessica Chipman, Daniel Walstad, Tim Long, Jody Ackerman, Jodi Hintzen, Kevin Lee, Kara Gerdes, Lindsey Johnston, Denny Amundson, Bruce Wegner, Carrie Larson, Caroline Giannone, Jon Provance, Deb Long, Katherine Carlson, Jackson Grove, Tori Long, Ian Heseltine and Paige Mackedanz.

Performances on September 20-22 and 27-29 are at 7:30 p.m. and on September 23 and 30 are at 2 p.m. All performances are at the AAAA Theatre in downtown Alexandria. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors (60+) and students, and $10 for kids 10 or younger. Group ticket rates are available.

For more information, contact the box office at (320) 762-8300.

WHAT: The Secret Garden

WHEN: Sept. 20-22 & 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 23 & 30 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Alexandria Area Arts Association


$18 for adults

$15 for students & seniors age 60+

$10 for ages 10 and younger

Group rates available.

Call (320) 762-8300.