Ten-year-old Mary Lennox, a young British girl living in India, is dreaming. As she plays with her Victorian dollhouse, British nursery rhymes and Hindu chants interweave in her mind (“Opening”). The next morning, Mary awakens to a world, transformed. She is discovered by Lieutenant Wright and Major Holmes, who inform her that everyone she had dreamed of the previous night (including her parents) has died of cholera (“There’s a Girl”).
Holmes and his wife travel with newly-orphaned Mary across the world to Yorkshire, England. When she arrives, Mary is met by Mrs. Medlock, housekeeper to the hermetic Mr. Archibald Craven, Mary’s uncle and new guardian (“The House Upon the Hill”). On the train ride to Misselthwaite Manor, Mrs. Medlock tells Mary about the death of Mr. Craven’s lovely wife, Lily, and how her loss has made him cold and distant. As she listens, Mary stares out at the dark, windy moors, wondering, “Is it always so ugly here?” Once she reaches the manor, Mary meets