New Zenith Theatre Press Release – Secret Garden

New Zenith Theatre to Present ?The Secret Garden?
Broadway Veteran Joins Production?s Artistic Staff

(Waterbury, CT ? Feb. 23, 2004) The New Zenith
Theatre, located at Naugatuck Valley Community College, will present the musical, ?The Secret Garden,? April 1 ? 4 at the college?s Fine Arts Center, Mainstage Theatre, 750 Chase Parkway. The theatre company is pleased to announce that Broadway veteran Sariva Goetz has joined the artistic staff as visiting artist and vocal director for this production.

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Performances will take place April 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and April 4 at 2 p.m. Additional performances for school groups, by reservation only, will take place April 1 and 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Adapted by Marsha Norman (book and lyrics), with music by Lucy Simon, ?The Secret Garden? is based on the classic children?s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Set in Colonial India and England at the turn of the 20th century, ?The Secret Garden? tells the story of Mary Lennox, a 10-year-old girl whose parents have died during a cholera epidemic. Sent to live with her widower uncle, Archibald, who is still mourning the loss of his wife, Mary finds she is alone and lost in a grown up world. Eventually she meets her cousin Colin, a sick boy who can?t get out of bed?but everything changes when they find each other, and the magic of the secret garden!

Sariva Goetz?s role as vocal director for the New Zenith Theatre?s first musical production not only brings a professional approach to the vocal challenges within the production, but her background as a vocal coach and teacher is proving a wonderful training addition to the college?s Theatre Arts Department.

Ms. Goetz served as the assistant conductor and first keyboard player for the Broadway production of ?Les Miserables? for 10 years before its closing last summer. Her other Broadway credits include ?The Secret Garden,? ?Miss Saigon,? ?Guys & Dolls,? ?City of Angels,? ?Once On This Island,? ?Starlight Express,? ?Romance Romance,? and the revival of ?Sweeney Todd.? Regionally she has conducted shows at the Goodspeed Opera House, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the George Street Playhouse, and the Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts. Off-Broadway credits as a musical director include ?Splendora,? ?Goblin Market,? and ?The Middle of Nowhere.? She has also written incidental music and was the musical director for ?Really Rosie,? the Night Kitchen?s premiere production written and directed by Maurice Sendak. She holds a masters degree from New York University and a bachelor?s degree in music from the University of Arizona.

?The Secret Garden? features Brittany Ross of New Milford as Mary; Douglas Sobon of Naugatuck as Archibald; Nikki Sanders of New Haven as Lily; Clark Kinkade of Litchfield as Colin; Katie Keough of New Haven as Martha; James McKirdy of Woodbury as Neville; Matt Densky of Monroe as Dickon; Karen McVeigh of Woodbury as Mrs. Medlock; Jeff Savage of Litchfield as Ben; and Mary Rosengrant of Waterbury as Mrs. Winthrop. Ensemble cast members include Stacy Harkins, Joe Grosso, Jillian Vollentine, Gary Rosengrant, Zachary Sanders, Michael Junko, Diana McCarthy-Bercury, Kevin Batista, Mike Manna, Natalia Collazo, and Danielle Spinello.

The creative team behind the New Zenith?s fully orchestrated production includes: Ed Wierzbicki, artistic director; Antonio Biello, musical director; Sariva Goetz, vocal director; Nikki Sanders, choreographer; Bill Cone, set designer; Jonathan Curns, lighting designer; Linda Valdes, costume designer; Mary Rosengrant and Cynthia Haym, educational directors; Geoffrey Ault, production manager; and Cortney Bergin, stage manager.

The performance is recommended for audiences age 8 and older. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for students. For tickets or more information, call (203) 575-8193.

For school groups, the New Zenith Theatre is offering ?Pay What You Can? tickets, for the performances on April 1 and 2 at 9:30 a.m. This payment option gives school groups the ability to name their own price for up to 100 tickets ? a remarkable deal for the quality of theatre that the New Zenith creates! To make reservations for this special offer, call (203) 575-8038.

Established in 1999, the New Zenith Theatre for Young Audiences is committed to building a thriving, rich, and positive theater experience for children, teachers, and families. At the center of it all is a commitment to language and literature.

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