MICHIGAN CITY — Right next to theatre director Amy Crane's classroom hangs a plaque that commemorates the Scholl family.
Louise Scholl's passing on Jan. 2 created a void throughout the Marquette and Michigan City communities which, according to school officials, will never quite refill. They say a solemn fog still resides in the air even though it is known she's in a better place.
As fate would have it, a lesson on grief and healing will be taught this Friday courtesy of Crane and the Marquette Drama Department when the curtain raises on "The Secret Garden" inside the Rudy Hart Theatre.
According to the Marquette Drama Department, this spring's production has been a testament to the resiliency and hard work of a cast and crew that has dealt with extraordinary obstacles. Since planning and preparation began early in the semester, the Drama Department lost nine in-theatre days due to school cancelation. Through the challenges, leaders have emerged.
"Anthony Holt has been crucial. He has put more than time-and-a-half between Sundays at St. Mary's and his own days off work. This would not be happening without him," Crane said.
The longtime theatre director also lauded the work of stage manager Caitie Gately and assistant director Zoe Olesker.
"They've been amazing. There have been a lot of walls to move and they've done an absolutely awesome job," Crane noted.
Marquette's 2019 rendition of "The Secret Garden" promises to be even better its first, which ran in 2007. Crane credits the experience gained on both sides of the curtain.
"We have come along so far the last couple years with how we've built sets. We have a good base of walls and wheels. Our technical capabilities have improved immensely."
Senior Cassidy Downs represents a Class of 2019 that has upheld a steadfast legacy of performers. Crane knew of her talent well before she stepped foot on 10th Street, but she beamed when speaking about her personal maturity.
"Her middle-school teacher told me she was coming up the pipeline to Marquette, and from the day she arrived, I knew it. Her voice and self-confidence still had room to grow and her roles have grown with it," Crane remarked.
"The Secret Garden" begins as a story about loss and the inability to carry on. By the time it fully blossoms, the audience learns that grief and death are not the end. You remember the good and take it with you through this life.
What a timely lesson for the Marquette community just two months after losing its matriarch, Louise Scholl. After all, her love, compassion, and generosity were anything but a secret.
Fans can catch the "The Secret Garden" March 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7 p.m. or on March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.