Coming to the stage of the Waldo Theatre this summer is the musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s story, “The Secret Garden.” The book has been enjoyed by countless young girls since initially published in serial form in 1910. Published in book form in 1911, “The Secret Garden” has become one of Burnett’s most popular novels, and is considered to be a classic of English children's literature.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 1990 and won the 1991 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Marsha Norman), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Daisy Eagan) and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Landesman). To date, Eagan at age 11 is the youngest female recipient of a Tony Award.

The Waldo Theatre announces its cast, led by Emma Tolley as Mary Lennox and Andrew Lyndaker as Colin Craven. Both children have extensive theatrical resumes, despite their young ages. Tolley is going into the fifth grade at Damariscotta Montessori School and made her stage debut at age 4 as an angel in “Believe.” This marks her 19th production, with favorite roles being Belle in “Beauty & the Beast,” Molly in “Annie,” Maisie in “The X-mas Files” and Marie in “The Aristocats.” Tolley takes voice and piano lessons and has been dancing both ballet and hip-hop since age 3.

Lyndaker will be entering the fourth grade at Great Salt Bay School and has an equally long list of performances. He made his stage debut as the youngest member of Fagin’s gang at age 6 for Lincoln County Community Theatre’s production of “Oliver!” Since then, he has been in “Mulan” and “The X-mas Files”; played Arthur in “Flat Stanley” and Lafou in “Beauty & the Beast”; and has appeared in three short films. Outside of theater, Lyndaker plays basketball, baseball, soccer and fishes in winter and summer and loves to kayak.

The adults in the cast are equally talented and experiences and include Laura Whitney of Alna as the ethereal Lily Craven, James Merrifield of Woburn, Mass., and Waldoboro as her grieving widower, Archibald Craven. His brother, Dr. Neville Craven, will be played by Bill Vaughn of Newcastle. Rose Lennox, Mary’s mother, will be played by Erin Niland Chenard of Warren and Rose’s husband Albert Lennox will be played by Todd Martin of Union. Meredith Batley of Damariscotta will be playing Martha, housemaid and sage to Mary, with Braeden Waddell of Waldoboro playing her kind, spirited brother Dickon. Soft-hearted gardener Ben Weatherstaff will be played by Kit Hayden of Newcastle, with Elizabeth Vega of Coopers Mills playing stern housekeeper Mrs. Medlock. Natasha Salvo will play starchy schoolmistress Mrs. Winthrop.

Joining the ensemble as “Dreamers” will be Sam Bailey and Taylor Stenger of Damariscotta, Brad Fillion and Tabitha Ordway of Edgecomb, Rory Craib of Walpole, Heidi Kopishke of Nobleboro, Sarah Duggan of Boothbay, Aidan Giasson of Rockland, Ella Grant and Aja Quintal, Katherine and Kayleigh Tolley, all of Waldoboro.

“The Secret Garden” is being produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. and will be directed by Susan Ghoreyeb, assisted by vocal coach Aaron Robinson. Sean Fleming will be organizing and conducting the orchestra. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, July 26, 27 and Aug. 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m.; plus one matinee performance on Sunday, Aug. 4, at 2 p.m. Tickets will be available through the theater box office at 832-6060.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or