Get an Exclusive Sneak Peek at the Designs for Broadway-Aimed The Secret Garden Revival

Greg Stevens
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Get an Unique Sneak Peek at the Layouts for Broadway-Aimed The Mystery Backyard Revival

Designers Jason Sherwood and Ann Hould-Ward tell us how they are reimagining the Lucy Simon-Marsha Norman musical for LA’s Centre Theatre Group—including a new character.

Courtesy of Jason Sherwood (left) and Ann Hould-Ward (correct)

Rehearsals are underway for a new creation of Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman’s The Key Garden, scheduled to start off February 19 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre by means of Centre Theatre Group. The run will continue by means of March 26, but producers have their eye on bringing the creation to New York, which would give the musical its initially Broadway revival.

Dependent on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, The Magic formula Backyard garden characteristics a reserve and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer winner Norman and new music by Grammy winner and Tony nominee Simon. The tale follows a youthful lady remaining orphaned by a cholera epidemic in British-occupied India who is sent to dwell with her reclusive and grieving uncle in his English nation estate.

Given that premiering on Broadway in 1991, the musical has long gone on to come to be a favourite for regional theatres and educational facilities all over the world—but the authentic production stays iconic. Established in 1911 England, Heidi Ettinger’s Tony-profitable unique established design and style placed the action in a stately mansion cum Victorian scrapbook, and Theoni V. Aldredge also gained a Tony nod for hauntingly beautiful costumes. 

But never fret. Director-choreographer Warren Carlyle has put collectively a top rated-notch style workforce for his new generation, including Emmy-profitable scenic designer Jason Sherwood (Hire Dwell) and Tony-profitable costume designer Ann Hould-Ward (Into the WoodsSplendor and the Beast). Alongside one another with the rest of the innovative crew, this trio is generating a Secret Back garden contrary to any noticed before—including a wholly new character. Get a initially seem at some of Sherwood and Hould-Ward’s styles, along with an inside of glimpse at what motivated them, down below.

In accordance to Sherwood, he took the show’s ghostly quality as his main inspiration—Norman’s adaptation of the story has the ghosts of the residing characters’ pasts sharing the stage, a haunting reminder of the grief that has held more than them.

A established design and style from The Key Garden by Jason Sherwood.
Courtesy of Jason Sherwood

“Misselthwaite Manor is a major location for the story, and we really required this room to have a ghostly, floating high-quality,” states Sherwood. “In this graphic, the ghosts of the past are dancing by way of the ballroom, when pairs of chandeliers lilt and float in room, amidst a translucent staircase and frames that ascend into the void. The story often normally takes location in the earlier and the present simultaneously—as our figures contend with their pasts and their losses—and we needed the space to have a lyrical, emotional high-quality that would assist all those moments.”

A established design from The Top secret Garden by Jason Sherwood.
Courtesy of Jason Sherwood

Sherwood carries on: “Our incredible director and choreographer Warren Carlyle and I have been planning this demonstrate jointly for various a long time. The set design is centered on the concept of the elements—earth, drinking water, hearth, and air, all of which are represented in our show—and the notion of a ghost story. The Magic formula Yard is about regeneration, and we needed these things to be at the coronary heart of the layout. So, the show is framed by this sculptural swirl—which suggests a gust of air—and we populate the area with many objects to just take us to distinct locations. In this impression, we are in the garden, prior to it has been brought back to daily life. It can be even now dormant and has just been found by Mary. A massive solar hangs upstage, which gently resembles the rings of a tree, casting gentle by way of the wrought-iron tree that is the symbol of the backyard, and the backyard doorway sits downstage remaining.”

Hould-Ward’s types include things like a character new to this generation of The Secret Backyard garden: Cholera. See her sketch for that and other costumes in the gallery down below.


Ann Hould-Ward’s Costume Layouts for The Key Back garden

As earlier declared, Center Theatre Group’s The Secret Back garden will star Sierra Boggess as Lily Craven, Derrick Davis (The Lion King) as Archibald Craven, Aaron Lazar (The Light in the Piazza) as Dr. Neville Craven, Julia Lester (Into the Woods, Superior College Musical: The Musical: The Collection) as Martha, and John-Michael Lyles (A Odd Loop) as Dickon.

Rounding out the solid will be Terron Brooks as Main Shelley, Mark Capri as Ben Weatherstaff, Peyton Crim as Main Holmes, Susan Denaker as Mrs. Medlock, Kelley Dorney as Mrs. Winthrop/Cholera, Ali Ewoldt as Rose Lennox, William Foon as Colin Craven alternate, Ava Madison Gray as Mary Lennox alternate, John Krause as Captain Albert Lennox, Reese Levine as Colin Craven, Yamuna Meleth as Ayah, Cassandra Marie Murphy as Mrs. Shelley, James Olivas as Lieutenant Wright, Kyla Jordan Stone as Alice, Vishal Vaidya as Fakir, and Ariel Neydavoud, with Randi De Marco and Sam Linkowski serving as swings.

The generation has been in the operates for Carlyle due to the fact at the very least 2018, when he was declared to helm a Broadway revival in the 2018-19 time that never materialized. A 2018 workshop of Carlyle’s staging streamed in April 2021 to advantage The Dramatists Guild Foundation and The Actors Fund, that includes Boggess as Lily. The stream was devoted to the late Rebecca Luker, who played the part in the unique Broadway organization.

Together with Sherwood and Hould-Ward, Carlyle’s creative crew will include audio supervision and more orchestrations by Rob Berman, orchestrations by Danny Troob, music way by Dan Redfeld, lights style by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, seem style and design by Dan Moses Schreier, and wig and makeup design and style by Victoria Tinsman. Casting is by Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris, and David Franklin will serve as production stage supervisor.

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