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About Us

The Secret Garden Children's Theater offers group classes in the performing arts and performance experiences for children at the Cascades Overlook Event Center, in Sterling, VA. Children ages 7-17 will learn stage direction, characterization, improvisation, musical theater performance, and much more, taught by a staff that brings over 20 years of educational theater experience. We offer a safe, positive and most of all fun environment for children to explore theater by unlocking their inner star.

Our Director, Wendy J. Conte

Wendy J. Conte hails from Massachusetts with a Bachelors in the Creative Arts (Music, Theater, and Dance) from Bradford College, and a Masters in Educational Theater from NYU. She has over 20 years of experience in the theater, with a passion for Musical Theater productions.

Wendy has directed plays and musicals for the Peacock Players at The American Stage Festival Theater in New Hampshire before moving to Texas where she taught music and theater in the Texas public schools for nearly a decade.

Wendy has been seen on TV and in motion pictures such as Salt, Taking Woodstock, and Boardwalk Empire. At the Alden, She has also taught theater classes and worked on Wizard of Oz and Raggedy Ann and Andy. Additionally, Wendy was the musical director for Charlotte’s Web, and choreographed Miss Nelson Is Missing.

Off-stage, Wendy absolutely loves playing her newest role as “Mom” to her 2 year-old son.

Wendy in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire

The Sound of Music as Maria

NBC’s Mercy

Wendy on the Pomotional Movie Poster for Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock

Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.

Stephen Schwartz Wicked: The Complete Book and Lyrics of the Broadway Musical

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

Victor Hugo Les Misérables

You're here, that's all I need to know And you will keep me safe And you will keep me close And rain will make the flowers grow.

Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil Les Misérables

Children will look to you For which way to turn, To learn what to be. Careful before you say, "Listen to me." Children will listen.

Stephen Sondheim Into The Woods

OUR SPONSORS & FRIENDS