Mary Lennox (Briege Riley) shows Martha (Margaret Garafalo) the secret garden she has discovered. Photo by Adam Silverman

Mary Lennox (Briege Riley) shows Martha (Margaret Garafalo) the secret garden she has discovered. Photo by Adam Silverman

Shelburne Community School fifth grader Briege Riley stars as Mary Lenox in “The Secret Garden” performed by the Stowe Theatre Guild today through Saturday, Aug. 30 at Town Hall Theatre in Stowe.
Riley has been interested in acting from a young age.  “My mom took me to see “Annie” when I was only four years old. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing,” she said. “I think magic happens on the stage when everyone works, sings, dances, and acts together. I wanted to be a part of it.”
And she is. A kindergartener in SCS’s “Beauty in the Beast,” followed by years of Very Merry Theatre and improv class, Riley took part in Lyric’s fall production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” before landing her starring role with the Stowe Theatre Guild’s as Mary, a young English girl who is orphaned when her parents die of cholera in India. When she is sent back to England to live on the family estate with her eccentric and reclusive uncle, an adventure unfolds that changes the lives of everyone around her.
“‘The Secret Garden’ is my grandma’s favorite book,” Riley explained. “I read it two years ago and was fascinated with everything that happens in the garden. Plus Mary’s character grows and changes during the play. It’s a fun production.”
After three months of rehearsals this dedicated 10-year-old can hardly contain herself. “Remembering lines and music comes easy to me. I find blocking and costume changes to be the most difficult. I am very excited for Opening Night,” she offered. “I can’t believe it’s tomorrow.”
Riley would like to continue her acting career, and is interested in the roles of Matilda and Annie in the future.
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children, plus sales tax and service fees may be purchased at www.stowetheatre.com, by email at info@stowetheatre.com; or call (802) 253-3961 (leave a message). Town Hall Theatre is located on the second floor of the Akeley Soldiers Memorial Building, 67 Main St. in Stowe The Box Office opens at 6pm.

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