'Secret Garden' closes season for college's Theatre on the Hill


THE LAST production of the 1996 season for Western Maryland College's Theatre on the Hill opened to audiences Aug. 2.

According to Don Schumaker, public information officer for the college, "Ira Domser, producer, has told me that people have actually stopped him on the street to say that this is one of the finest productions Theatre on the Hill has ever done. It's that good."

"The Secret Garden" will be presented again Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

The story line for "The Secret Garden" is one we all know and love. Young Mary Lennox is sent to live with her Uncle Archibald after her parents are killed by disease. Archibald is a cold and distant man, who pines after his dead wife, Lily, speaking to her ghost often and leaving their young son, Colin, alone much of the time.

Colin is confined to a wheelchair, suffering from scoliosis and, even more, a lack of love. Mary comes into the home and with her comes love and hope. She nurtures Lily's barren garden back to life, and a healing begins.

Mary Lennox is played by Jennifer Klem, a seventh-grade honor student at Mount Airy Middle School. Although Jennifer has acted in six other productions, this is her first with TOTH.

Rob McQuay of Baltimore, the actor portraying Archibald, has used a wheelchair since he lost the use of his legs in a swimming accident in 1990.

"Rob is still the star of the show," Domser said. "He was talented before the accident and he still has it. It is that simple."

Adding to McQuay's triumph is the fact that his son, Daniel McQuay, is by his side, making his debut as a member of the chorus.

At 10: 45 p.m. Saturday, after the last viewing of "The Secret Garden," a gala grand finale show called "Magic, Music and Mayhem" will feature live entertainment with everything from country-western to opera to Shakespeare to Neil Simon and more.

Country and folk music star Mark Brine will perform. Brine has issued several albums and has performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. During the gala, members of the casts of all six 1996 TOTH productions will sing, recite and perform comedy skits.

Also, Western Maryland College alumnus Scott Grocki of Cockey's Tavern will entertain with his magic. Beer and refreshments will be offered during these two hours of entertainment. Tickets to the gala are $3 in advance and $5 at the door.

Tickets for "The Secret Garden" cost $17 for adults, $13 for seniors and $9 for children under age 12.

All performances will be held in WMC's air-conditioned Alumni Hall.

For more information, or for tickets, call the box office at 848-2448 or the Arts Management Office at 857-2599.

Wine judging

Carroll County Farm Museum is accepting entry forms for the amateur wine judging at the Maryland Wine Festival Sept. 21 and 22 at the museum.

Winemakers must contact the museum to obtain entry forms. A $1 fee is charged for each entry, and forms must be received by Sept. 13.

Wine judging will take place at 1 p.m. Sept. 21.

The wine with the highest overall score will receive a Best in Show designation.

Information: 848-7775.

Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/12/96

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