What Makes This Version So Special

This lovely story by Frances Hodgson Burnett has certainly been adapted before for the stage. What makes this version so powerful is the addition of The Garden Tree. The Garden Tree symbolizes the healing and forgiving power of nature. Played by a woman, The Garden Tree moves subtly in relation to the action on stage. When Colin starts to walk, she gives him support with her branches, when Mary dances with joy, The Garden Tree rains petals on her shoulders, etc. In addition, the original costume design included subtle transformations from scene to scene, so that the tree began bare in the cold winter months and grew lush with spring.


Mary Lenox - a ten-year-old English girl. She was raised without love or boundaries and as a result is singularly selfish and self-contained.

Colin Craven - a ten-year-old English boy. Colin was raised to believe that he was ill and would die before adulthood. His every whim has been indulged while his heart was neglected by a father wracked with grief.

Dickon - a twelve-year-old Yorkshire boy who communicates with nature

Martha - Dickon's older sister and a maid at the manor

The Garden Tree - Nature's living symbol, connected to all of the animals, played by a female actor. At the top of the show she is covered in dead growth but as Mary works in the garden The Garden Tree comes alive and blooms.

Mrs. Medlock - A stern Yorkshire matron who is fearful that any change in the status quo will cost her job.

Archibald Craven - A wealthy, well educated middle-aged man who never got over the loss of his wife ten years ago. He has a hunchback.

Ben Weatherstaff - A craggy old Yorkshire gardener who speaks his mind.

Soldier - English soldier in colonial India.

Puppet Animals - The Robin, a squirrel, a rabbit

This script is intended for six flexible actors. The suggested doubling to make this possible is Dickon & Soldier, Ben & Archibald, Martha & Tree, plus all cast members switch off performing the animals as needed and participate as the Chorus in scene one.

This script easily expands to fit a large cast giving you 8 speaking roles, the pivotal roles of The Garden Tree and the Robin and the ability to add many actors as the Chorus in scene one and as various animals throughout the garden scenes.