Meet the Cast: Daniel Plimpton of 'The Secret Garden'

Daniel Plimpton believes nothing teaches perspective better than theatre. He says ‘The Secret Garden‘ honors those who came before us, and gives hope for what is to come. Playing through May 28.

Lieutenant Shaw in The Secret Garden, the classic story of the 10-year-old orphan girl doomed to a life of isolation with her uncle in England until she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden. It plays through May 28 in the Stage Theatre.

At the Theatre Company: Debut. Touring: Visited the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with the National Tour of The Book of Mormon and the Buell Theatre with Spring Awakening. Regional Credits: Paper Mill Playhouse, O’Neill Theater Center, North Shore Music Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Engeman Theatre, New Century Theatre, Lyric Stage. Training: BFA, The Boston Conservatory.

  • Hometown: Amherst, Mass.Daniel Plimpton-photo-credit-adamsviscom
  • Training: BFA from The Boston Conservatory 
  • What was the role that changed your life? Well I have to say playing Colin in The Secret Garden! It was 2001, and I was 11 at a community theatre in Amherst, Mass. We had this fabulous director who pushed me to explore the truth of this character who has been so mistreated and who has no relationship skills, because he hasn’t been exposed to any sort of variety of life experience. It was tough but it was the first time I had been called on to actually act, as opposed to just be a cute kid. That was the show that really compelled me to want to audition professionally and try to take my love of theatre to another level.
  • Why are you an actor? The simple answer is that since I was 5 years old, there has never been another thing I have liked doing more. Never have I had a year, or a phase, or even a moment where I have wanted to do something else. The more complex answer is that theatre is the greatest teaching tool of perspective. People leave good theatre as better people. They have been able to learn about a different life experience than their own. To be a part of that, and to get the chance to constantly learn about myself and others through portraying a huge variety of different people at different times in this world, it’s amazing.
  • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I like to think I would be a sports commentator, because I love sports. Or a marine biologist and swim with wild dolphins every day.
  • Mark RylanceWho would you like to roll up your sleeves and work a scene with someday? Well, I would have to roll up every inch of everything I own to get up the nerve to do a scene with Mark Rylance. Watching him onstage is like a religious experience for me. I have seen everything he has done in New York. The way he captures theatricality while still giving the most real performances is mesmerizing. I would definitely want to be on the receiving end of that energy.
  • Why does The Secret Garden matter? This story packs a huge punch with how it  deals with grief, spirituality, childhood and nature. It’s a really deep play, and this is certainly an ambitious subject to set to music. Mary Lennox goes on a journey that we can all relate to – this journey of plugging herself into the world during dark times in a way that honors those who came before us, and gives hope for what is to come.
  • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope this play makes them feel transported to a safe place to think about how they view the circle of life. This story is very much about children, and it’s also very much about death. And on a ‘less deep’ level, I hope they love the music and have a great time with these characters as they find ways to move on from their respective tragedies.
  • Finish this sentence: “All I want is …”
    ” …  a world where people feel accepted for who they are; a world where peace triumphs over fear and love squashes judgment. And I think the arts can help lead us to this personal utopia.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Daniel Plimpton Spring AwakeningDaniel Plimpton left, played Ernst opposite Devon Scott as Hanschen in the national touring production of Spring Awakening that visited Denver in 2011. Photo by Andy Snow.

The Secret Garden:
Ticket information

The Secret GardenThe beloved classic blossoms anew in this enchanting musical full of beautiful melodies. When young Mary uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished.
Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon;
based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Through May 28
Stage Theatre
Denver Performing Arts Complex
303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Previous coverage of The Secret Garden:
Photos: Marsha Norman visits DCPA’s The Secret Garden
Denver Post
review: A worthy, family-friendly and satisfying theatrical experience
Video: How does our Secret Garden grow?
Photos, video: Your first look at The Secret Garden
Five things we learned at first rehearsal
Five things we learned at Perspectives
2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

More 2016-17 ‘Meet the Cast’ profiles:
Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced
Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
Liam Craig, The Book of Will
Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
Mark Junek, Frankenstein
Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
Zoe Manarel, The Secret Garden
Robert Montano, Two Degrees
Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

Regina Steffen, The Secret Garden

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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