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

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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.