Some SECRET GARDEN FAQs

TSG-web-1-238x300Part of our mission at all for One is to educate as well as entertain and inspire. This blog and the dramaturgy in each program are among our efforts to enlighten and educate our audience.  We hope to deepen your understanding of the background and implications of the stories we present on stage.

Here are some topics which may raise questions in the minds of our audience:  Why India? What is cholera? Why are gardens walled at Misselthwaite? Are English and American robins the same? These are addressed  briefly in the program, but we hope you will take the time to “read more about it” on this page, and share what you learn with your children who have enjoyed The Secret GardenContinue reading

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The Secret Garden and Kid-Lit’s Golden Age

The Golden Age of British children’s literature refers to a remarkable period during which a vast number of western literature’s best-loved books were written. Consider that between 1900 and 1930:

  • Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated her many picture books for young children, beginning with The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
  • A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh.
  • E. Nesbit wrote her wonderful children’s novels, including The Railway Children, Five Children and It, and The Enchanted Castle.
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote A Little Princess, The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy.
  • J.M. Barrie created Peter Pan.

And this list is not exhaustive at all. There was also an explosion of American children’s literature at around the same time: The Wizard of Oz, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Call of the Wild and Pollyanna, to name a few.

The wonderful thing about all these books, to my mind, is that they are not written “down” to children, over-simplified and dripping with moral lessons. Rather, they are strong original stories which are amusing, engaging and often thought-provoking, but which are most appropriate to the genre (fairly new at the time) of children’s literature. Continue reading

Frances Hodgson Burnett, writer of classics

TSG-web-1-238x300The first in a series of posts on the background of all for One’s The Secret Garden, which opens April 20, 2018. For tickets, call (260) 422-4226.

Who was the woman who gave the world two of its most beloved children’s classics? She was not perhaps quite what you might have expected.

  • Her books were all set in the British Isles, but she left England as a teen and did not return for some years. In fact, the last years of her life were spent on Long Island, where she is buried.
  • She wrote famously of little girls, but she bore only sons.
  • Her books focus on comfortably wealthy families, but she experienced a “riches to rags” life and only regained financial stability by long years of perseverance as a writer.
  • Her stories are full of lively and optimistic characters, but she suffered from depression on and off throughout her life.

Continue reading

The cast of The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

We are excited to announce the cast for the closing production of our 25th anniversary season, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (adapted by Sylvia Ashby):

MARY LENNOX–Violet Park*

COLIN CRAVEN–Micah Gilliom

DICKON SOWERBY–Jack Voirol*

MARTHA SOWERBY–Tori Beth Bowman*

ARCHIBALD CRAVEN–Nick Henney*

MRS. MEDLOCK–Michelle King

BEN WEATHERSTAFF–Dennis Nichols

MRS. SOWERBY–Lauren Nichols

DR. SPENCER–Eric Black

NURSE GREY–Angela Bougher*

*Denotes afO debut

As you can see, half of our cast are newcomers to all for One!  In the director’s chair for this production is Lorraine Knox, who directed Just So Stories for us two seasons ago.  The production team includes costumer Deanna Deturk, props mistress Christine Newman-Aumiller, and set design/construction by Lorraine, Lee and Sophie Knox.

Our guest lighting designer is Luke Holliger, who also designed the lighting for David. Luke is the technical director for Arts United. We are thrilled to have his expertise!

Also of note is the original music, which is being composed by Torilinn Cwanek, who also composed incidental music for afO’s production of A Little Princess (2013). Tori is a 15-year-old piano student of Lauren Nichols, afO’s Artistic Director.

Tickets are available now through the ArtsTix box office:  (260) 422-4226 or order online.

What does “Regency” mean, anyway?

Regency 1Most of us have heard the term ‘Regency England’ at some point. You may associate it with a particular kind of romance novel, or with the novels of Jane Austen. You might even rightly recognize that the women’s fashions of the time included high-waisted (“Empire”) dresses with fairly slender skirts (no hoops or bustles).

The Regency in Great Britain has both a broad and a technical definition. Continue reading

Unique attributes of afO’s production of SENSE & SENSIBILITY

It is always a challenge to take a script developed by another company, for their stage and their actors. Bedlam Theatre’s innovative production of member Kate Hamill’s adaptation has received rave reviews for its lively and unusual devices.  Their cast of 10 required far more doubling of roles, and their script suggested using a puppet for one character. But the script itself is robust, well-constructed, and lends itself to a variety of interpretations and flexibility in cast size, making it ideal for any company with more imagination than money.

Norland dining room

Two tables make a long dining table. Lorraine Knox as Mrs. Dashwood (standing).

afO was blessed by Tod Mohr’s willingness to construct our rolling tables, which attach securely with near-invisible magnets. We ended up using them a bit less than originally intended, but they still managed to serve us well as desks, dining tables, a piano forte and a bed, as well as several different horse-drawn carriages.  Our Lady Middleton was the only actress to be wheeled about (our tip of the hat to the original production, in which ALL the furniture was on wheels).

One of the more significant changes to our production was the prologue. Continue reading

A list of all music used in SENSE & SENSIBILITY

S&S posterAll the period music used in our production was recorded on a Casio Privia (PX 350M) digital keyboard. The pieces marked “arranged” had added instrumentation (french horn, contra bass, bassoon, etc). For the two Beethoven Symphonies, a one-piano four-hand edition was used to create the orchestrations.  The pieces marked “altered” were amended in some way:  measures removed, tempos significantly changed. Continue reading