Jason Olson's Synopsis
The story begins as young Mary Lennox is brought up to bed during a
party and the next morning awakes to find that everybody except her has
died from cholera. She is sent away to her Uncle Archibald's gloomy
mansion in England. There she has nobody to play with, talk to, or have
fun with. Her Uncle Archibald is still mourning the death of his
beautiful wife Lily who died over ten years ago. There is also Mrs.
Medlock the stern no-nonsense housekeeper, and Neville Craven, Archie's
brother. The only person who has shown Mary some kindness is the maid,
Martha, who explains that if you look hard enough there is always
something to do. She also learns of Martha's brother Dickon.
Outside she find Ben, the gardener who tells her about Miss Lily's
garden and that Mary may not go in there or she could be sent away by
her uncle. She then finds Dickon who tells her about the Robin
protecting the Garden and how to talk to the bird. Dickon leaves and
Mary, who is waiting for Martha to come outside, accidentally discovers
the key to the garden but cannot find the door. The next day she ask her
Uncle for one gift, A Bit of Earth. He agrees to that and also that she
will not be sent away to a school. Later that night a storm comes and
Archibald and Neville sing the beautiful deut, Lily's Eyes. Mary is
having trouble sleeping , because of the storm and also because somebody
is crying. She goes to investigate and finds Colin Craven, her
ten-year-old cousin. Through the years Colin has become selfish and
rude, but caring in a special way. He tells Mary of a Round-Shouldered
Man (Archibald, because he is a hunchback). Before Mary and Colin can
become acquainted Mrs. Medlock and Neville Craven rush inside the door
and reprimand Mary harshly and warn her never to see Colin again, or she
will be sent away. Mary, heartbroken, races out into to the storm and
sees a vision of her Aunt Lily pointing her to the doorway into the
garden, and Act 1 comes to an end after Mary enters the Garden.
Act 2 begins on Mary's birthday as she thinks back to her last birthday
when she had somebody to talk to. She finds Dickon again and tells him
the garden is dead, but Dickon convinces her to take a close look at it,
clears away the dead roots, stirs the soil, and explains that everything
is Wick (Scotish term meaning life). Mary starts working hard to bring
the garden back to life. Later at the house Archibald announces he is
leaving for Paris, and that Mary may be sent to a school if Neville
wishes. Saying goodbye to a sleeping Colin he leaves quickly. Mary,
hearing Colin screaming again, calms him down, he was mad that she
talked to Dickon instead of him. Mary announces that she has found the
Secret Garden of his mother, but Colin is afraid that if he goes outside
he will catch cold and die. Mary leaves and Colin is visited by the
ghostly image of his mother, She convinces him to go outside into the
garden and he will become strong once again.
We then see Mary, Dickon, Martha, and Colin sneaking into the Garden.
They sings Come Spirit, Come Charm, praying for Colin to be able to walk
again and become strong. Their charm works and Colin walks once again.
Ben storms in to investigate the intruders and is astounded to see
Colin, and finds out the reason Archibald does not like to see Colin,
during Lily's death Colin was born and it sapped her strength until she
died. Colin looks so much like his Aunt Lily. In the funniest scence in
the play, Neville has Mrs. Winthrop of the Aberdeen school for girls
visiting. She explains to Mary that she would be happy at there school,
but is appalled to see Mary's tantrum toward her, and storm out of the
house. Neville, quite upset, tells her to stay away from Colin before
she kills him from overexertion. Mary races back to her room in despair.
Martha comforts her and tells her she must finish her mission and write
to her Uncle in Paris and tell him to come home. Archibald recieve the
letter and is in despair about going back because Mary looks like his
wife Lily. Lily visits him and tells him she didn't mean to hurt him and
that he should come home to the garden.
Out in the garden Mary and Colin are playing along with Dickon, Martha,
and Ben when Archibald, Neville, and Mrs. Medlock come into the garden.
These three are all astounded to see Colin out and running in the
garden. Archibald is no longer bothered by the death of Lily and
promises Mary that as long as she will have him, she has a home. All the
ghosts from Mary's past disappear and everybody is one happy family as
we fade out on Act 2. The Secret Garden is a wonderful play that would
make a hard but good high school musical. The music is absolutely