NEWBERRY — Young ballerinas will light up the stage Friday and Saturday with their performance of the classic novel “The Secret Garden.”
This is the Newberry Ballet Guild’s annual play that they will act out at the Newberry Opera House.
Lane Henderson Joiner, assistant artistic director of the Newberry Ballet Guild, explained that she decided on the theme last summer and the dancers began practicing in August for three days a week until the performance.
Joiner and her mother, Newberry Ballet Guild’s Artistic Director Kendyl Griffith, coordinate the show and choreography but they do have help from the dancers’ parents who help with costumes and marketing.
Newberry College’s Matthew Fuller also assisted the guild in the design area.
According to Brad Joiner, president of the Newberry Ballet Guild, “(Fuller) helped with some of the props (for the play).”
Fuller helped to construct the arches for the garden.
Lane Joiner says that the play is “a favorite store of mine” and she just decided to run with it.
There are 18 dancers from ages six through 18 performing in the play and some dancers have multiple roles. Not only are their multitasking dancers tackling different roles but parents participating as well.
According to Julie Barnes, a parent involved with the guild, “The parents and grandparents are in the Act I of the play where the bazaar is set up.”
Barnes also adds that Geena Griffth’s parents, Eugene and Beth Griffith, are also in the play as Geena’s parents in the play. This is just one example of the participation that the parents and grandparents put forth. Geena plays Mary Lennox, who is a lead in the play.
The play consists of three pre apprentices who are the youngest dancers, then apprentices, juniors and seniors, according to Barnes.
This year there is only one senior in the play - Holly Richardson - who will leave the guild after she graduates from Mid-Carolina High School. Richardson plays Martha in the play and she’s excited about this performance.
“Martha is Mary’s maid,” said Richardson, “This is something different for me. I normally play male roles. It’s nice to be a little bit feminine.”
In the past, Richardson says one of her favorites was playing the Beast in a past Beauty and the Beast performance.
Richardson has been dancing for 17 years and she hopes to continue when she goes away to college at Winthrop. As for leaving the guild, she said, “Oh, I’ve been sobbing,” as she thinks about the years she’s spent with the guild.
The performance will take place on Friday at 8 p.m. and on Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. at the Newberry Opera House.