The Secret Garden

Presented by CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe

This enchanting classic of children’s literature is reimagined in brilliant musical style by composer Lucy Simon and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman. Orphaned in Colonial India, 11 year-old Mary Lennox journeys to England to live with her mysterious uncles, Archibald and Neville Craven. The Craven mansion’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons to Mary with memories and melodies, and the “Dreamers”, spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life. The Secret Garden is a magical and compelling tale of forgiveness, renewal, and love.

Mary’s Tea Party

A Family Festival Experience – Saturday, June 8, 12-1:30pm – For Families and Children 12 & under

Admission is $5 for children. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (Parents and guardians are not required to purchase a ticket.0 Tickets to see The Secret Garden are not included with the tea party ticket and may be purchased separately.

Activity Tickets must be purchased and redeemed to participate in certain parts of this event. They will be available to purchase at the event. Tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5.

Honored guests will sip tea with their favorite characters from The Secret Garden and enjoy tea time bites like fruit, cake, cookies, and other treats. Our guests will enjoy music and dancing with our costumed cast members, and an assortment of delightful activities, including floral face painting, Secret Garden key necklace making, paper flower crafts, a Victorian photo booth with props and costume pieces, and a chance to meet and take photos with with the cast of our show. You will also have the opportunity to have a personalized Victorian silhouette of your child as a keepsake of this treasured memory.

Purchase Tickets for Mary’s Tea Party

Additional Program Information

The Secret Garden is set in 1911, beginning in and with flashbacks to the British Raj in India, with the majority of the action happening in England, and a few numbers in Paris, France.

India –

  • In 1911, the British Raj was in full effect. This was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. India had been ruled by the British since 1858 when the East India Company transferred its control of India to the Crown after the failed Indian Rebellion of 1857. India would not become fully independent from Great Britain until August of 1947, when India was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India (later the present-day Republic of India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the present-day Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the eastern part of which became the present-day People’s Republic of Bangladesh.)
  • The 6th Cholera Pandemic in the world lasted from 1899-1923. Cholera is an acute infection in the intestines. It can cause fever as well as rapid loss of body fluids, which can lead to dehydration, shock, and often death. A common cause of cholera is drinking contaminated water. This pandemic began in the city of Haridwar and then spread to Europe through the region of Punjab, which was a province of British India where many Europeans lived. It resulted in the loss of 800,000 lives in India.
  • On December 11, 1911, King George V and Queen Mary of England were crowned Emperor of India and Empress Consort. At this time, the Indian Councils Act of 1909 was in effect. This law was enacted by the British Parliament to give a limited amount of Indians some legislative power. For the first time, they could be elected to their own legislature, but the British government still had control over executive powers. Only a small, elite group of wealthy Indians were allowed to vote.

England –

  • On June 22, 1911, George V and Mary of Teck were crowned King and Queen of England.
  • In April of 1911, a census was taken. The census found that 1 of every 7 employed people is a domestic servant. Many women refused to complete the census as a form of protest in support of Women’s Suffrage. Women were not granted any kind of suffrage in the Britain until 1918 and would not get full voting rights until 1928.
  • On May 31, 1911, the RMS Titanic was launched in Belfast. Less than a year after this, the ship would hit an iceberg and sink on her maiden voyage, resulting in the loss of nearly 1,500 lives.
  • At this point in time Germany, led by Kaiser Wilhelm I, was on the verge of creating a successful military empire. In July of 1911, Germany sent a gunboat to the Moroccan port of Agadir, which the British feared they would use to establish a naval base and possibly become the superior naval power in the world. While a peace was reached at the time, this resentment and hostility would only continue to grow over the next few years, leading to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

Paris –

  • Paris was in the midst of the Belle Époque, a period in France that lasted from 1871-1914, which was the beginning of the Third French Republic until the start of World War I.
  • During this period of time several important Parisian landmarks were built such as the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Opera, the Paris Metro, and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre.

Zoe Blackledge (Assistant Director/Assistant Stage Manager) – Zoe is currently a sophomore at the University of Central Florida. She is majoring in Theatre Studies with a Film minor. Upon graduation, she plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film acting. She is so proud of all the hard work that the cast has put into this show!

Erin Caster (Movement Coach) – Erin is so excited to be working with the performers in The Secret Garden! After graduating from Hofstra University with a Dance Performance Degree, she began working with CFCArts Children and Youth Programs as a Teaching Artist in 2017. As a performer, choreographer, and coach, Erin enjoys creating movement that captures personality, story, and emotion. She would like to thank the cast of The Secret Garden for welcoming her into this show, and bringing such a powerful story to life!

Leena Chhaganlal (Indian Dance Coach) – Leena started her journey in Kathak Dance at the age of 6 at her birth-place, Suva, Fiji. Kathak is one of the four core Indian Classical Dance and Art forms, going back many centuries. At age eight, Leena performed at a welcoming ceremony for the His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, when he visited Fiji. At age eleven, Leena was the youngest participant in the troupe representing Fiji to perform at the South Pacific Festival of Arts in New Zealand. In her teenage years, Leena played leading roles in Dance Ballets based on Hindu religious scriptures. In 1986, Leena and her family moved to New Zealand. She started up her own Dance Academy, with an emphasis on Kathak Dance, as well as Indian Folk, Bollywood, and Fusion Dance styles, taking part in many events. Leena moved to Florida in 2000. She co-founded LTR Indian Dance Company with her two daughters, who together have performed on stage in USA many a times and are renowned as the “Mother-Daughter Group”. She has choreographed for, performed at, and judged many community events, prestigious dance shows and competitions in Florida and California. The LTR Indian Dance Company has won many awards.

John Curcuru (Acting Coach) – A graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Performance Theatre, John has had the great fortune to have been involved in many productions throughout the United States, including Off-Broadway, national tours, and Walt Disney World.  He has also been a live event host, representing brands all over the world. Some of his credits include “The American Idol Experience” (Disney), Celebrity Cruise Lines, and Monster Jam (Feld Entertainment). John is also a private acting coach and takes great pride in watching his students learn and grow.  CFCArts holds a special place in his heart, where you can find him (between performance contracts) teaching and directing the youth of Orlando!

Ellie Flaumenhauft (Stagehand) – Ellie is thrilled to be a new member of the CFCArts family for this production. As a recent graduate from Rollins College with a BA in Design and Technical Theater, Ellie has stage managed numerous productions at Rollins as well as Mad Cow Theater and the Orlando Fringe Festival. She has been working in entertainment at Walt Disney World since August 2018 and is currently a Production Assistant at Walt Disney World. She would like to thank Justin Muchoney and Stacey Parks for bringing her into CFCArts, and she would like to thank her entire family for their endless support.

Angela Flynn (Costume Designer and Coordinator) – Angela is proud to be working with CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe again. Recent credits include The Music Man, Singin’ in the Rain Jr. and Disney’s The Little Mermaid with CFCArts Youth Theatre Troupe. Her passion is costuming, especially for young people. Her specialty is using clothes found thrifting or donated, as she reconstructs them into the perfect costume. Angela calls it “Frankensteining.” Her motivation is knowing that she is making a unique costume which flatters an actor and helps them to embody the character they are playing. When she’s not costuming, Angela is a wife and full-time homeschooling mom.

Magen Geluso (Student Director) – Magen is seventeen and is entering her senior year at Lake Brantley High School. Magen is a proud member of Thespian Troupe 2888, and is an officer for the LBHS Chorus. Some of Magen’s past shows include Oliver! (Charley Bates), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Violet Beauregard, Choreographer), The Music Man (Featured Dancer), Legally Blonde (Aaron Shultz), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Sea Turtle, Can-Can Fish), Les Misérables (Coufeyrac, Young Éponine), and Into the Woods (Little Bo Peep). She has also been Rehearsal Assistant for several Wekiva River Players Junior shows.

Malcolm Gibson (Front of House Assistant) – Malcolm is very excited to be assisting with The Secret Garden. He has just graduated from Cornerstone Charter Academy. This is his tenth show with the CFCArts team, having played roles such as Gaston (Beauty and the Beast), Donkey (Shrek the Musical), Sebastian (Disney’s The Little Mermaid), and Marcellus Washburn (The Music Man). Malcolm would like to thank everyone who has helped him along the way, and he hopes that everyone enjoys the show!

David Greene (Audio Technician) – David is a Florida native, but a recent addition to the CFCArts family. He has a degree in Music Education from Jacksonville University. David has spent his working career as a producer and audio engineer for the NFL, ESPN, NBC, FOX and CBS. David says, “Nothing is more fun than last-second problem solving on shows, and being able to use my skills to help out a organization as strong as CFCArts is an exciting experience!”

Erin Hernandez (Assistant Director/Stage Manager) – Erin is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida. She has a degree in Theatre along with a double minor in Education and History. This is her first production with CFCArts and she has loved being able to work with such a talented and passionate group of students. She has been blown away by the level of hard work, time, and dedication that these kids have brought to every rehearsal. She is looking forward to continuing to work with CFCArts this summer as an Assistant Teaching Artist with several summer camps. She hopes that you enjoy this beautiful production and all of the love that was put into it.

Wendy Lamoreaux (Dialect Coach) – Wendy is a Teaching Artist for CFCArts in the outreach programs for Children and Youth and Arts and Wellness with adults. She did her M.A. in Theatre at the University of South Carolina and studied two and a half years at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-On-Avon, England working on a Ph.D. Wendy also spent a year overseas as a missionary in Belfast, Northern Ireland working with prisoners, ex-prisoners, and the marginalized communities of the “Troubles” conflict with the Educational Shakespeare Company ( She feels blessed to be able to share her love of theatre and music with the students and other artists at CFCArts.

Rebekah Lugo-Melise (Spotlight Operator) – Rebekah has been dabbling in the arts since second grade when she starred in Ponderosa Elementary’s rendition of The Little Red Hen. She became heavily involved in chorus opportunities throughout her schooling including and was able to participate in Florida’s All-State Chorus multiple times. In college, she studied language arts and received a Master’s Degree in Education.

Amanda Miller (Hair and Makeup Assistant) – Amanda is an eighteen year old homeschooled senior. She has enjoyed being a part of CFCArts Youth Productions throughout her high school years. She is proud to be a part of this production, her last as a student, working backstage as a hair and makeup artist. She plans to attend college in the fall and pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education and Dance and hopes to continue her passion for theatre through choreography. She wants to tell the cast to break legs and have fun!

Lori Miller (House Manager / Children and Youth Programs Administrator) – Lori is happy to be a part of Central Florida Community Arts and enjoys meeting new families and working with existing ones through her role as Administrator of the Children and Youth Programs. She is proud to be a part of this production and wishes all the cast and crew a great show!

Jacob MtCastle (Spotlight Operator) – Jacob is thrilled to once again be working with the CFCArts team as a stagehand for The Secret Garden as a graduating senior! He is a senior at Circle Christian High School and has previously acted in Troupe shows with CFCArts, such as The Music Man (Charlie Cowell) and Seussical the Musical (Wickersham Brother). Jacob would like to thank everyone attending for their support and he hopes they enjoy the production!

Angela Perkinson (Stagehand) – Angela has been involved in musical theater from a very young age, and she’s thrilled to be helping with one of her favorite shows. As a senior music management student at Florida Southern College, she’s so thankful to have the opportunity to work on this production of The Secret Garden. Enjoy the show!

Leah Porrata (Director / Director of Education and Outreach) – Leah is originally from Columbus, Ohio. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education from Ohio Wesleyan University with concentrations in Directing, Stage Management, and Acting, she apprenticed and worked in the Education department of the Tony Award-winning regional theatre Cleveland Play House. She then relocated to Naples, Florida to take the position of Director of Education at the regional theatre Gulfshore Playhouse, where she founded many of their Education programs and directed their youth theatre series. While in Naples, Leah and her husband Jason co-founded Ave Maria Children’s Theatre, where she served as Managing and Outreach Director as well as directing plays and musicals. She has also taught and directed theatre in schools in Ohio and Florida and holds her educator’s license for Drama/Theatre in both states. Leah is thrilled to be a part of the Central Florida community and the CFCArts family!

Caroline Ramos (Assistant Stage Manager) – Caroline is originally from Miami, Florida, where she graduated from American Senior High School. She is currently a Music Performance student at the University of Central Florida, where her principal instrument is the horn. She serves as the Orchestra Librarian and Administrative Assistant to the UCF Symphony Orchestra.

Ryan Richards (Lighting Designer) – Ryan has been involved in theatre and entertainment lighting since high school. He graduated with a degree in Show Production/Touring and has worked for Upstaging, The Walt Disney Company, and PSAV. He was on the opening crew of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as a pyrotech along with lighting at ESPN for Cheer/Dance events, Frozen: A Sing A-Long and Disney Marathons. He’s also an AV/Lighting Tech based at the Grand Floridian Resort along with several other convention venues in Orlando. He attended the Lighting/Design Convention in Las Vegas last October where he participated in several classes to enhance his lighting programming and designing skills. Ryan wishes the best of luck to all involved in this show!

Erin Elizabeth Stillson (Choreographer) – Erin is a professional singer, actress, and chorister. Originally from Florida, she has performed in Chicago, New York, and abroad. She holds a Masters of Music in Voice Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Dance minor from the University of Central Florida. As a private voice and piano teacher, Erin has worked for Central Florida Community Arts and the School of Arts at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. She currently performs at Capone’s Dinner Show and is a professional chorister with the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe and the Diocese of Orlando.

Kaileigh Anne Tayek (Music Director / Associate Director of Education and Outreach) – With a degree in Music Education, Kaileigh Anne has had diverse experiences working with musicians, performers and students of all ages. She has over twenty years experience in vocal performance, in addition to credits in directing, pit conducting, and stage-managing. Her past experiences include teaching music and theatre courses to young performers, and teaching collegiate-level workshops on the techniques of Creative Drama. She also works for the Walt Disney Company in a variety of different capacities. Kaileigh Anne has greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with the immensely talented cast and crew of The Secret Garden. She is so proud of the hard work and dedication put forth from each and every student to make this musical a success!

Joshua Williams (Audio Technician) – Joshua Williams is happy to be designing this performance of The Secret Garden. Currently Josh works as an Entertainment Technician at Walt Disney World Resort among various locations and shows around the property. Along with Disney, Josh has worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival as a sound tech, and at the Forestburgh Playhouse as the sound designer for their 2014 summer season. Josh wishes to thank you all for coming, and hopes you enjoy the show.

JoAnn Wood (Stagehand) – Jo Ann is a rising junior at Rollins College and is studying Anthropology, Dance, and Theatre. At Rollins, she has performed as an ensemble member and dancer in Sweet Charity, in the modern piece The Body Keeps the Score, and in two Attitudes dance concerts. Other roles include Princess Aurora in the ballet Sleeping Beauty and Isabel Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol. She is very grateful and excited for this opportunity to work with CFCArts for the first time!


  • June 7, 2019 at 7 p.m.

  • June 8, 2019 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.


  • $25 Premium – Adult 13+ (Seats in the Center Section, Complimentary Concession item and bottle of water, and a show program signed by the cast!)

  • $20 Premium – Child 4-12 (Seats in the Center Section, Complimentary Concession item and bottle of water, and a show program signed by the cast!)

  • $10 Advance Standard Adult 13+

  • $5 Advance Standard Child 4-12

  • $15 At Door Standard Adult 13+

  • $10 At Door Standard Child 4-12

  • Ages 3 & under are free

Purchase Tickets for Mary’s Tea Party