The growing production of ‘The Secret Garden’


Semai Hagos

The performing arts program is putting on ‘The Secret Garden’, a musical based on the novel by Frances Hogsdon Burnett.

Xander Howarth and Tansy Velush, Staff Reporters

The performing arts program is putting on The Secret Garden, a musical based on the novel by Frances Hogsdon Burnett. At the current stage of production, the cast and crew continue their hard work through rehearsals and work calls. As of January 2023, the previous BPA (Ballard Performing Arts) director is on leave and is unable to direct The Secret Garden as planned. 

Instead of slowing production when faced with new circumstances, students took on new roles and responsibilities. 

“I’ve seen students step up in remarkable ways of creativity and resourcefulness,” said Principal Abby Hunt. “Students have been amazing in persevering, staying focused, staying solution oriented and rising up in leadership spaces where needed.”

The production of The Secret Garden not only saw students engaging more, but also adults within the community. Choreographer Eia Waltzer and Dialect Coach Indira Rampersad both took on the responsibilities of directing BPA students, making sure students felt completely supported.

“I never really felt like we didn’t have a director,” junior Izzy Rampersad said. “Eia, who was our choreographer, stepped into the director role.” 

Cast members have been working with Waltzer generally on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, taking time out of their schedules to participate.

Rehearsals are every day after school, with students working on music on Mondays and Thursdays. The strong efforts of cast members are shown in the way they work and collaborate regularly. 

“We’ve built a team,” Rampersad said.

 The hard work of the students participating has created a healthy environment of trust and mutual assurance. 

“I feel really confident about where we are at this point,” Rampersad said. 

Regardless of their role, students across the production are confident, excited and optimistic about their commitment and focus on The Secret Garden. 

“We’re making it happen,” senior Elliot Jakupcak said. 

Cast and crew members are continuously diligent in their work on The Secret Garden, devoting almost every afternoon to practice. Rose Champion, Vice President of the Thespian Troupe mentions their schedule.

 “We’ve been working hard every day, everyone has. Eia is doing an amazing job of leading rehearsals, a total lifesaver!” Champion said.

Senior Ella Papineau appreciates rehearsals and performing with the BPA. 

“I really enjoy hearing the laughter of the audience and just reactions to what’s happening on stage,” she said. 

The Secret Garden will begin showing in Ballard’s theater Mar 16. Ballard students and community members are encouraged to see the cast and tech crew of The Secret Garden perform. 

“Their commitment to the production is very inspiring,” Hunt said.