Randy Robbins, Pilot staff writer

GOLD BEACH - "The Secret Garden" - a delightful, imaginative novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and adapted for the stage by Tim Kelly - is being staged by the Ellensburg Theater Company (ETC) at the Rogue Playhouse in Gold Beach.

The show is directed by Valerie MacGillivary, produced by Geri Kendall, with musical direction courtesy of Anna Weidemiller.

The result? This well-done play is a perfect outing for the entire family just as children are scheduled to go back to school.

This heartwarming tale centers around a young British girl, Mary Lennox (Katie Schaller) who has to leave India after her parents are killed. She arrives as an orphan to the English estate of her estranged uncle (Dan Dresser), who lost his wife 10 years prior and hasn't recovered.

The girl isn't particularly well received, partially because of her own issues and partially because of the problems others around her are struggling with. One of them is her cousin Colin (Alex Adams), who has been confined to a wheelchair and is being attended to rather closely by Dr. Craven (Mark Lainer) and nurse (Lilly Thomas).

Mrs. Wiggins (Kerri Schaller) is the governess attempting to keep an eye on Mary, but is getting nowhere fast as the adventurous girl strikes out to take her own personal tour of the stately manor. She encounters a no-nonsense housekeeper (MacGillivary) who heads up her uncle's household staff including a cook (Kendall) maids (Kylie Kensella, Faith Steincke and Rylee Weidemiller).

There are unsettling mysterious cries in the night. Who do they belong to? Mary sets out to investigate and the answer is surprising.

Along the way she encounters a garden tended by the young gardener Dickon (Bjorn Schaller). He is part of the musically prolific Sowerby family who takes care of the old man's manor for him. There is the bellboy (Kyler Middleton), a footman (Dylan Middleton), stable boy (Floyd Thomas) and their mother Mrs. Sowerby (Laura Middleton).

The Sowerby clan takes to orphan Mary and make her one of their own. It's not long before Mary discovers another secret garden within the garden. It is surrounded by high fences and a gate. It is all overgrown. But how to get in? And what's waiting for Mary inside?

"The Secret Garden" continues its run at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29 and 30, and 2 p.m. Sunday Aug. 31. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 students, and children 5 and younger enter free. Tickets are available at the Coffee Dock, Gold Beach Books and at the door.

For more information and reservations, call 541-247- 4ETC (4382).