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Children’s Casting Call for The Secret Garden at STC

May 20, 2016

Media Contact:
Michael Porto
202.547.3230 ext. 2315


Washington, D.C. — Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) announces today casting news for the upcoming production of The Secret Garden, part of STC’s 2016-2017 Season. Daisy Eagan, who was awarded the 1991 Tony® for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance of Mary Lennox in the original Broadway production of The Secret Garden, joins STC’s production in the role of Martha, Mary’s maid and caretaker.

STC will hold a local open call for young actors ages 9–13 to audition for the roles of Mary Lennox and Colin Craven on Wednesday, June 8 and Thursday, June 9. Auditions will be held at the Shakespeare Theatre Company Administrative Offices (516 8th Street SE, Washington, DC, 20003) on the fourth floor in the Melton Studio.

Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s Drama Desk and Tony Award®-winning musical, The Secret Garden is a story of hardship turned into hope, of beauty discovered in unlikely places, the power of the child’s imagination and the wisdom that accompanies growing up. Based on the children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the musical follows the story of 10-year-old Mary Lennox, who loses her parents and travels to England to stay with Archibald Craven, her remote and morose uncle, still grieving the death of his wife ten years ago. Terrified of every nook and cranny of the haunted Craven Manor, Mary seeks refuge in her late aunt’s mysterious walled garden, where she discovers amazing secrets.

At 11 years old, Daisy Eagan was the youngest female actress ever to win a Tony Award®. She has appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables and James Joyce’s The Dead, in addition to three original solo shows and productions at South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse and Pasadena Playhouse. Her television work includes The Mentalist, Without a Trace, Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs. She has also appeared in films including Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, Ripe and Losing Isaiah.


The roles of Mary and Colin are critical to any production of The Secret Garden. Mary Lennox (lead; vocal range Bb3-E5; age 9–12) begins the story as a surly, brooding, selfish, spoiled and difficult young girl who has never had the opportunity to learn how to think of anyone but herself. In shock from the sudden death of her parents, she deals with profound and deep loss throughout the story. Over the course of play she discovers joy, courage and generosity in herself, even in the face of great hurt and fear.

Colin Craven (featured role; boy soprano, range A3-E5; age 9–12) is Archibald and Lily’s frail, bed-ridden son. He is spoiled, selfish and frightened, even peevish and cruel at times out of fear. But underneath, he is a tender and sweet boy who loves and misses his relationship with his father. He is scared that his father hates him and blames him for his mother’s death. The actor playing Colin must have commanding presence and charisma, a huge heart and deep emotional facility.


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2016, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Please arrive at 9 a.m. to sign up on the audition list and receive a timeslot for the day. There will be a break from 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2016, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. Please arrive at 11 a.m. to sign up on the audition list and receive a timeslot for the day. There will be a break from 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

To audition, please bring a hardcopy headshot and résumé, stapled together. All candidates should prepare 32 bars of a classical musical theatre song in the style of The Secret Garden. Please bring sheet music that is clearly marked for the accompanist to play. Please also have a brief, one-minute monologue prepared. Auditions should not exceed three minutes total.

Should the audition timeslots fill up for the day before you are able to add your name to the list, we will start a waitlist. Please be prepared to remain at the audition location until you are seen by Casting Director Carter C. Wooddell and Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul.

Callbacks from the initial open audition will be held on June 17 and 18 with the production’s creative team. These will be scheduled by appointment after the initial auditions.

Rehearsals for The Secret Garden will begin October 11. Performances run November 15 through December 31, with a possible extension to January 8.

The Secret Garden will be a co-production with Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. Musicals at the Shakespeare Theatre Company are made possible by the Beech Street Foundation.


At 11 years old, Daisy Eagan became (and remains today) the youngest actress ever to win the Tony Award® for the Best Featured Actress as Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden. Over twenty years later, her career has brought her back to Broadway again and has sent her across the country on a national tour, three self-penned one-woman shows, world premieres at Playwright’s Horizons, South Coast Rep and La Jolla Playhouse, numerous television appearances, starring roles in film, leads on Los Angeles’ most prestigious stages and much more. Most recently, she was seen as Martha in the highly acclaimed 20th Anniversary concert performance of The Secret Garden at the David Geffen Hall. She has worked in tandem with her frankness and vulnerability to inspire three hilarious and heartfelt one-woman shows: Daisy Eagan: F**k Off. I Love You., Still Daisy After All these Years, and One For My Baby. Each show explores deeply funny and sometimes tragic themes, as Daisy intertwines a wide spectrum of songs into her storytelling. With accounts ranging from “life after Broadway” to the devastating loss of her mother, on to the struggles and compromises she has made as an artist and mother, her life stories illustrate that, yes, truth really IS stranger than fiction.

A published, award-winning writer, Daisy hasn’t left her creative talents on the stage. A fierce fighter and activist for women’s and LGBTQ rights, she is a rousing voice in political arenas and continues to fight for change throughout her literary and performing career. Daisy lives in New York and she teaches and speaks across the country. In May of 2013, she welcomed her first child, Monty Harrison Eagan-Bloom. She thanks her partner, Kurt, and her big sister, Molly for always supporting and being there.


Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre—ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes—for all audiences.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free For All. For the past twenty-five years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.


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