The Secret Garden premieres at Serenbe Playhouse

Rachel Teagle’s adaptation of the children’s classic debuts along with an English garden
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Secret Garden
Illustration by Chrissy Lau

When playwright Rachel Teagle was a kid, she read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden—about a lonely orphan named Mary, her sickly cousin Colin, and the garden that changes their lives—so many times that the cover disintegrated. This month, Teagle’s interpretation of the children’s classic debuts at Serenbe Playhouse. “When I reread the book, I was pleasantly surprised by how much was there,” she says. “There were definitely nuances I missed as a younger reader that hit me harder as an adult.”

This is Teagle’s sixth children’s play for the open-air theater since 2011, and she has used the opportunity to rediscover some of her favorite books. The heart of The Secret Garden is Mary’s relationship to nature, says Teagle, and Serenbe has planted an English garden that will immerse audiences in the play. “You experience the story differently if you look to the side and see something growing,” she says.

On the calendar: Serenbe Playhouse premieres a new adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s book on May 29. Through August 2.

This article originally appeared in our May 2015 issue.

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