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ACC production has Lawrence County flavor

A handful of Lawrence County residents will stroll through "The Secret Garden" this weekend as the Ashland Community College Theatre continues the opening performance of the 2002-2003 season with the Tony award-winning musical.

"You always want to kick off the season with a show that is very special or challenging," Edward Figgins, theatre director and scenic designer, said. "This performance meets both."

Shows today and Saturday will begin at 8 p.m.

A special midnight showing will be presented Saturday to celebrate Halloween. A Sunday performance will begin at 2:30 p.m.

"We already had three performances and the audience seemed to be very appreciative," Figgins said. "Several audience members told me that this is one of the best shows we have done."

Lawrence County residents include Ironton native Jennifer Rogers, the assistant director, who worked with the variety shows at St. Joseph’s for five years. DeNeil Hartley, a Rock Hill music teacher, is the musical director. Crosby Clyse, a freshman at St. Joseph High School, is one of the main character's son. Elliott Cunningham and Ruth Langer are also from the Ironton area.

"This is a good family show that appeals to both adults and children," Rogers said. "It has good music and good visual effects like lighting, fog, and costumes."

"I think a lot of people from Ironton and Coal Grove go to ACC because we do not have a community theatre," she said. "It is a shame because we have a lot of talent here."

The plot revolves around a 10-year-old girl that is orphaned and returns to Yorkshire, England to live with her eccentric uncle and his invalid son. His estate holds a magical locked garden and other supernatural surprises for young Mary.

"It has gone really well from beginning to end," Clyse said. "If people want to see a touching story that involves the unity of family they should come see it."

Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students, seniors, ACC/ATC faculty or staff and groups of 10 or more, and $2 for ACC/ATC students. They can be reserved by calling (606) 326-2014. Unsold tickets may also be available at the door.

Also, ACC will be hosting open auditions for "A Christmas Carol" Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.