Plenty of Talent in “The Secret Garden” of South High

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July 8th, 2013

Omaha, NE — A well-kept secret musical theatre program takes center stage this weekend at South High Magnet School. Here’s Ben Rasmussen with the details.
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secret gardenEvery summer the Omaha Public Schools produce a summer musical. This year’s production is “The Secret Garden.” All OPS students, from grade 3 to graduating seniors, can participate, and over twenty schools in the district are represented. The show gives students across the district a chance to meet and form friendships with other students from across the city. Colin Brown, the show’s producer and director, says that this year he took the unusual step to double cast several roles, including the two leads.

“This year we had four really exceptional young singers,” said Brown. “Two Marys that are double cast, Lilly Weak and Regan Wickstrom – and we just couldn’t decide. We wanted them both to have this opportunity and they’ve been awesome together. Basically, they’ve been alternating performances.”

Wickstrom says that a good working relationship makes a shared role go smoothly.

“It’s actually working out very well. We rotate scenes whenever we’re practicing, and it helps a lot that we’re very good friends,” said Wickstrom

Lilly Weak points out that there are many other challenges and rewards.

“Regan actually counted, we have 185 lines to memorize and it’s a big challenge, the best part is we get to perform it on stage, which is amazing,” said Weak.

Regina Palmer is a graduating senior who plays Martha, a strong supporting role. She works with the younger actors, and her character reflects the relationships she has with the other students.

“Martha pretty much tells Mary about the secret garden,” said Palmer. “She tells her about her brother Dickon, who also help Mary find the Secret Garden. When Mary is put down by her uncle, Neville, she is the one who tells Mary to hold on, and to keep strong with what she’s doing, and to keep pushing forward until she can find another solution to the problem.”

Performances of Omaha Public Schools’ summer musical, “The Secret Garden” are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, at South High Magnet School. For more information, you can call the OPS Music Department at (402) 557-2443.

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