Franklin Resident David Duncan is Music Director for Acacia Theatre Company’s “The Secret Garden”
For Franklin resident David Duncan, the opportunity to help bring the beloved children’s tale “The Secret Garden” to life through music was irresistible.
Duncan is the music director and pianist for Acacia Theatre Company’s production of the play, Feb. 26 through March 7 in Concordia University Wisconsin’s Todd Wehr Auditorium, 12800 North Lake Shore Drive in Mequon.
“I couldn’t say ‘no,’” Duncan said of the opportunity. “I love music so much, and to be able to perform it as part of a timeless classic like ‘The Secret Garden’ was just the cherry on top.”
Pamela Sterling’s award-winning script is a faithful retelling of the story by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary Lennox, an ill-tempered orphan, is sent to live with her uncle at secluded Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire, England. As she adjusts to her new home, she discovers an overgrown garden that has been kept under lock and key for more than 10 years. While tending to the plants, Mary forms the first true friendships of her life and realizes that the garden may also hold the secret to saving her sickly young cousin and melting the heart of her emotionally distant uncle. Mary plants the seeds of new life for herself and for those she draws into her secret refuge.
The play’s musical score, written by Chris Limber, gives each of the major characters a theme that is used between scenes and as underscoring. In addition to Duncan on piano, the ensemble will include a flutist and a cellist.
“This is not ‘The Secret Garden: The Musical,’” Duncan said. “This is a play in which music adds character and mood. The music adds another layer to help the audience connect with the story and the characters.”
The message at the heart of the story – that selflessness can open the door to happiness and health – has helped make “The Secret Garden” an enduring classic that children and adults alike continue to enjoy, whether on the written page, on stage or screen, Duncan said.
“I hope the audience takes away the play’s message of the importance of friendship and the power of love … and hum a tune or two from the show as they leave,” he added.
Currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in music and theatre at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., Duncan has been on stage for most of his life, performing everything from mime to experimental theatre to opera.
An Acacia Theatre Company veteran, Duncan’s on-stage credits include the company’s productions of “Jane Eyre,” “The Body and the Wheel,” “A Girl, a Mirror, and a Magician” and a traveling production of “The Tale of the Three Trees.” Behind the scenes, he has served as sound technician and stagehand for such productions as “Little Women,” “The Spitfire Grill,” “Little House on the Shores of Silver Lake” and “The Great Divorce.”
“Performing is a gift and I want to share it with as many people as possible,” he said.
Performance and Ticket Information
Performances will be given at 8 p.m. on Feb. 26, 8 p.m. on Feb. 27, 3 p.m. on Feb. 28, 8 p.m. on March 4, 8 p.m. on March 5, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on March 6 and 3 p.m. on March 7.
Tickets cost $15, or $13 for senior citizens, full-time clergy and full-time students. Tickets may be purchased by calling (414) 744-5995 or visiting www.acaciatheatre.com.
Founded in 1980, Acacia Theatre Company is an independent, non-profit, interdenominational group of dramatic artists who share a common desire to integrate art and faith by presenting theatre from a Judeo-Christian worldview. Through uplifting, quality entertainment, Acacia provides occasion for thanksgiving, growth and enjoyment, and the opportunity for Christians and non-Christians to consider their lives in relation to God. More information is available at www.acaciatheatre.com.
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