Children’s Roles for The Secret Garden

Audition Brief for the Roles of Mary and Colin

The Secret Garden Musical | Submissions Close Feb 10

The search for children to play the roles of Mary Lennox and Colin Craven continues for the upcoming 25th anniversary Australian production of The Secret Garden.

It was announced in November last year that acclaimed talent Anthony Warlow will be reprising one of his most acclaimed roles, Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden, in this 25th anniversary production which will open at Sydney Lyric Theatre in August 2020. He originally played the role in the 1995 production. Read this article here.

Opera Australia and John Frost are re-issuing the Audition Brief for children’s roles only as they conduct the second phase of auditions in Sydney and Melbourne.

Before submitting any application, please ensure you clearly read the entire brief (TSG Audition Brief_20200124) and ensure you/your clients adhere to the restrictions as noted on the brief.

Please note, not all applications will receive an audition. Auditions are strictly by invitation only and at the discretion of the Producers and Creative Team.

If you/your client has previously auditioned, you are ineligible to re-audition. If you have previously submitted for an audition and subsequently received an audition slot however cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances (illness etc.) you are permitted to re-audition.

Submissions must be made online through the GFO Talent Portal:

For any further information, please contact:




Somewhere someone buried the key. The key to life. The key that opens the hidden door to…

When it premiered on Broadway in 1991, The Secret Garden took New York by storm. Tony Awards, national tours and international productions all followed. Now, for the first time in 25 years, this sensational musical returns to Australia in all its glory. The famous novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett on which the musical is based is known and loved by many. This heart-warming story comes to life on stage with the same magical qualities, and rewards audiences with its sophisticated take on this literary classic.

Mary Lennox arrives at her uncle’s home to find distant grieving relatives and an uncared-for garden. The story centres around the orphaned Mary as she and a young gardener breathe new life into the secret garden. Mary blossoms too, and through this she tends to all the hearts around her.

The sumptuous score contains a raft of wonderful songs, including ‘A Bit of Earth’, ‘Show Me the Key’, and the unforgettable ‘Lily’s Eyes’.



Dates are subject to change at the Producer’s discretion.

Cast rehearsals commence in Sydney on or about Monday 15 June 2020.

Publicity dates and costume fittings may be required in advance of these dates (exact dates to be advised).

The Premiere season commences at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in August 2020.

The Melbourne season will follow and commence at Her Majesty’s Theatre in November 2020.


Specific requirements for auditions will be provided with confirmation of audition time. All auditionees must prepare the following material:

• Prepare two (2) songs of your choice consistent with the style and period of the show that best demonstrates vocal range. You should have available at least two contrasting selections, but should not choose material from The Secret Garden score.


All auditionees will need to be available for the below audition period to be considered for this production.

Saturday 22 February  – Sunday 23 February 2020

CALLBACKS – Sunday 23 February 2020
The Opera Centre, Sydney. 480 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills NSW, 2010

Saturday 29 February – Sunday 1 March 2020

CALLBACKS – Sunday 1 March 2020
The Ministry of Dance, Melbourne. Level 1, 64 Sutton St, North Melbourne, VIC, 3051


1. Auditions are strictly by appointment only. Auditions cannot be guaranteed for all applicants submitted.

2. If you have previously auditioned for The Secret Garden in December 2019, you are not eligible to re-audition. We are only auditioning children who have not yet auditioned.

3. Children must be shorter than 145cm. Any child taller than 145cm is ineligible to audition.

4. Auditionees should be available for the entire audition period. Any restrictions must be noted in the submission.

5. Auditions will take place in Sydney and Melbourne only.

6. Auditions are at the risk and the sole financial responsibility of the auditionee.

7. Auditionees may be photographed and recorded as part of their participation in the audition process for casting purposes.

8. Auditionees may be asked to be recorded, either inside or outside of the audition room, with such recording to possibly be used for promotional content of the production process including, but not limited to; news stories, programing for broadcast and social media. Such recording will be voluntary and without compensation.


The children’s roles are shared roles – four x Mary, and four x Colin.

Children must be at least 8 years of age as of 1 February 2020 (DOB must be before 1 February 2012).

Sydney-based children must live within 110km commute from Sydney CBD / maximum 90 minutes travel. Melbourne based children must live within 60 minutes travel time from Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Children must be fully available for the full rehearsal and performance period.

The Children may be required to tour with this Production, subject to final casting.

All terms of the engagement will be in accordance with the following Codes: NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection), (Child Employment) Regulation 2015, The Code of Practice, the Performers Collective Agreement (2017), The Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic) (the Act), Mandatory Code of Practice for the Employment of Children in Entertainment (2014) (the Code) and the OHS Act – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).


• A 10-year-old British girl. Uncommonly self-possessed, brave and insightful, with a mature sense of irony. She has spent most of her life among adults in colonial India. She copes with catastrophic loss by assuming an air of independence. However, she is haunted by ghosts of the past.
• Female – young girl
• Playing age: 10
• Vocal Range: Young Voice, Ab3-D5
• Maximum Height: 145cm

• Archibald and Lily’s 10-year-old son. A petulant, entitled hypochondriac who has never experienced the company of other children or the nurturing affection of a mother and father. All he knows of the outside world – he has read in books.
• Male – young boy
• Playing age: 10
• Vocal Range: Young Voice, A3-E5
• Maximum Height: 145cm


Submissions close 11:59pm Monday 10 February, 2020 . Successful applicants will receive appointment times no later than 7 days prior to auditions.