Children of Eden

Children of Eden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Children of Eden
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Children of Eden is a two-act musical play with music
and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by John
Caird. The musical is based on the Book of Genesis. Act
I tells the story of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Abel, and
Act II deals with Noah and the Flood. While using the
Bible as a plot source, it freely deviates in many details,
and is a story of parents and children without a specific
religious point-of-view. Though it had a short run on
London's West End in the Prince Edward Theatre and
has never played Broadway, the show is popular in
community theatres worldwide. While many
productions of the show have used the same principals
in both acts, with the actors each taking on a different
character for the story of Noah, the original West End
production did not utilize doubling of principals.[1]
1 Production history
2 Synopsis (American version)
3 Characters
4 Musical Numbers
5 References
6 External links
Children of Eden
1998 New Jersey Cast Recording
Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz
John Caird
Genesis and a concept by
Charles Lisanby
1991 Prince Edward Theatre
1997 Paper Mill Playhouse
Production history
Children of Eden was originally written in 1986 as Family Tree for a production by Youth Sing Praise, a
religious-oriented high school theatre camp at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville,
Illinois.[2] Stephen Schwartz adapted the script and music of Family Tree into a full-length musical, giving
it the title it uses today.
The original cast production of Children of Eden was developed as a Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
workshop,[3] directed by John Caird, and starring Ken Page as Father, Richard Lloyd-King as Snake,
Martin Smith as Adam, Shezwae Powell as Eve, Adrian Beaumont as Cain, Kevin Colson as Noah,
Earlene Bentley as Mama Noah, Frances Ruffelle as Yonah, Anthony Barclay as Japeth, Craig Pinder as
Shem, Ray Shell as Ham, Hiromi Itoh as Aysha and Ruthie Henshall as Aphra. After the RSC's budget was
cut, it opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End on January 8, 1991. The show closed on
April 6, 1991 to poor reviews and after the Persian Gulf War put a damper on tourism worldwide.[3]
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Children of Eden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The show's poor reviews and quick closing meant that any hope of a Broadway transfer was abandoned.
The original London cast album was released on LP and CD, but quickly went out of print. The CD release
was marred by manufacturing defects that caused most of the discs to "bronze", becoming unplayable.
Consequently, a playable copy of the disc is highly prized by musical theatre collectors. Schwartz believes
the show has not played on Broadway because of the expense required to produce it in an Actor's Equity
house, due to the cast of characters.[2]
There is an extremely rare concept recording of the show that exists. The recording features Stephen
Schwartz himself playing the piano. The recording was made before the Papermill Playhouse production in
an effort to review the rewrites and revisions. The recording was made available only for a limited time on
Stephen Schwartz's website via RealAudio streaming. The recording is considered to be the rarest version
of the show that exists. Only a handful of people possess CD or digital copies of it, including Stephen
Schwartz himself and Michael Kohl.
Throughout the 1990s, the show received numerous productions at both the amateur and professional
levels; it was also reworked and edited, with songs and scenes being added and cut. In 1997, a major
production was mounted at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, featuring Stephanie Mills. A
cast recording of this production was produced by Schwartz himself. This revised version, commonly
known as the "American version" or "Paper Mill version", is substantially what is currently licensed for
production in the United States. The New York City premiere of the piece was as the inaugural World
AIDS Day Concert presented by Jamie McGonnigal and Kate Shindle. The concert featured Julia Murney,
Norm Lewis, Darius de Haas, and Jai Rodriguez and raised funds for The National AIDS Fund. The show's
publisher, Music Theater International, reports that Children of Eden is one of its top 20 most frequently
licensed properties,[3] which is very unusual for a show that has never had a Broadway or Off-Broadway
run. Its popularity is partly due to its ability to accommodate a large or small cast; its universal themes of
family, love, greed, anger, and others; and its religious material, which make it a favorite for churches,
synagogues, and post-secondary schools. The most recent production of Children of Eden was played at
NIDA (St. Andrews), Sydney, Australia, on the second and third weekends of March, 2011. A world
premiere of the symphonic version ran in Kansas City from July 15 to 24, 2011, accompanied by a
55-piece orchestra.
A Gala charity concert adapation will run for one night only at the Prince of Wales theatre in London on 29
January 2012. The concert is being produced to support Crohn's and Colitis UK and will feature
performers from London's West End theatre community and from UK television.
Synopsis (American version)
Act I
The play opens with the creation story from the Book of Genesis ("Let There Be"). Eve is drawn to the tree
of knowledge, even though Father (the God-character is always addressed as "Father" by the other
characters) has warned her to stay away ("The Tree of Knowledge"). Father attempts to distract Adam and
Eve by playing a game where Adam and Eve name all the animals ("The Naming"). With his children
distracted for the time being, everything is right with the newly created world ("Grateful Children,"
"Father's Day," and "Perfect"). Eve, however, still hungers for something more than what she has ("The
Spark of Creation"). She meets a snake that tempts her with the fruit from the forbidden tree ("In Pursuit of
Excellence"). Eve eats the fruit, meaning that she must be banished from the Garden of Eden ("The End of
a Perfect Day" and "Childhood's End").
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In a twist from the Genesis tale, Adam is portrayed as torn between two choices: either he can stay with
Father in Eden, or he can eat the fruit and be banished with Eve. He chooses to stay with Eve, even though
it means leaving the garden forever ("A World Without You"). Adam and Eve are driven out into the
surrounding wilderness and have two children, Cain and Abel ("The Expulsion" and "The Wasteland").
Eve realizes that the same fire that led to her eating the fruit is present in her son, Cain ("The Spark of
Creation (Reprise 1)"). Cain tells Abel of the problems that Adam and Eve made for them by leaving the
garden and says that he intends to find the lost garden ("Lost in the Wilderness").
Adam and Eve find some pleasure in the fact that they have been able to create a life for themselves
outside of Eden ("Close to Home"), but this peacefulness is again shattered when Cain says that he has
found a ring of stones, proof that they are not the only humans alive; Adam admits that he had seen the
ring of stones and the people who live there before but that he had never mentioned it because he was
afraid of the potential consequences ("A Ring of Stones" and "Clash of the Generations"). This leads to a
fight between Adam and Cain, but when Abel intervenes, he is killed, as Cain attempts to kill Adam but
hits Abel instead ("The Death of Abel"). Father decrees that Cain's descendants will always bear a mark for
the sin of their ancestor ("The Mark of Cain").
Act I closes with Eve about to die. She delivers a monologue about Cain's departure from the family and
the birth of another son, Seth, who has since had children of his own. She then prays that her children and
her grandchildren will regain the garden that was lost ("Children of Eden").
Act II
The act opens with "Generations," a list of the many descendants of Cain and Seth, all the way down to
Noah and his family, whose story comprises the second act’s plot. Father tells Noah that a storm is coming,
so Noah must build a boat ("The Gathering Storm").
Noah has three sons, and two of them, (Shem and Ham), have wives, but his youngest son, Japheth, is
unhappy with the wives Noah has tried to obtain for him. Instead, he wishes to marry the servant-girl,
Yonah, a descendant of the race of Cain, and Japheth tells this to his surprised family ("A Piece of Eight");
however, Noah will not allow Yonah on the ark. All the animals return so that they can board the ark ("The
Return of the Animals" and "Noah's Lullaby"). Japheth comes to say goodbye to Yonah. She sings
"Stranger to the Rain," in which she says that she has always faced the problem of being shunned because
she bears the mark of Cain. Japheth decides to sneak Yonah onto the ark. Japheth and Yonah sing "In
Whatever Time We Have," which tells of their love for each other.
The rain comes, and it keeps raining and raining ("The Flood" and "What is He Waiting For?"). Yonah
releases a dove to find dry land ("Sailor of the Skies"). The rest of the family discovers Yonah, and Shem
and Ham wish to throw her overboard, but Japheth intervenes. It escalates into a fight, and it is only
because Yonah intervenes that one of the brothers is not killed. Noah is unsure as to what he must do. His
wife asks him if Father speaks to him anymore, and when Noah answers "No," she tells him, "You must be
the father now." Noah has to decide what should be done without God telling him what to do ("The Spark
of Creation (Reprise 2)"). Noah sings of the difficulties that he has faced in being a father, while at the
same time Father sings of the problems he has faced in being a father ("The Hardest Part of Love"). Noah
calls the family together ("Words of Doom"). He decides to give Japheth and Yonah his blessing ("The
Hour of Darkness"). Then the dove returns and the family again sees the light of the stars. Mama leads the
family in the gospel song ("Ain't It Good?"). Father gives humanity the power to control its fate ("Precious
Children"). The family sings of the problems they will face and their desire to return someday to the
Garden of Eden ("In the Beginning").
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Original London Production[1]
Act I
American Productions
Storytellers – acting as the narrator
Father (God)
Eve/Mama Noah
Aphra (Ham's wife)
Aysha (Shem's wife)
Yonah (Noah's servant; Japheth's wife)
Young Cain
Young Abel
Snake (several people)
Act II
Mama Noah
Chorus (both acts)
Musical Numbers
1991 Prince Edward Theatre Production[1]
Act I
Act II
Let There Be – Father and Angels
The Naming – Father, Adam, Eve,
Animals and Angels
The Spark of Creation – Eve
In Pursuit of Excellence – Snake and Eve
A World without You – Adam
The Expulsion – Father, Adam, Eve and
Wasteland – Angels
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Generations – Ham and Company
Degenerations – Father, Noah and
Civilised Society
Shipshape – Shem, Ham, Aysha and Aphra
The Return of the Animals – Noah’s
Family and Animals
Stranger to the Rain – Yonah
In Whatever Time We Have – Japeth and
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Children of Eden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lost in the Wilderness – Cain and Adam
Close to Home – Adam, Eve and Abel
Children of Eden – Eve and Her Children
The Flood – Antediluvian Mankind
What Is He Waiting For? – Noah's Family
Children of Eden (Reprise) – Yonah
The Hardest Part of Love – Noah
Ain't It Good? – Mama Noah, Her Family
and Angels
In the Beginning – Company
Track Listing for the Paper Mill Playhouse Cast Recording (1998)
Act I
Act II
Let There Be – Father & Full Company
Perfect (Part 1) – Storytellers, Father,
Adam & Eve
The Tree of Knowledge – Father & Adam
The Naming – Father, Adam, Eve &
Grateful Children – Adam & Eve
Father's Day – Father
Perfect (Part 2) – Storytellers, Father,
Adam & Eve
The Spark of Creation – Eve
In Pursuit of Excellence – Snake & Eve
The End of a Perfect Day – Storytellers
Childhood's End – Storytellers, Father &
A World without You – Adam, Father &
The Expulsion – Father & Storytellers
The Wasteland – Storytellers
Wilderness Family – Adam, Young Cain &
Young Abel
The Spark of Creation (Reprise 1) – Eve
Lost in the Wilderness – Cain & Abel
Lost in the Wilderness (Reprise) – Cain
Close to Home – Adam, Eve, Abel, Young
Cain & Young Abel
A Ring of Stones – Adam, Eve, Cain &
Clash of the Generations – Adam, Eve,
Cain & Abel
The Death of Abel – Eve & Storytellers
The Mark of Cain – Father & Storytellers
Children of Eden – Eve & Full Company
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Generations – Storytellers
The Gathering Storm – Noah & Father
A Piece of Eight – Storytellers, Noah,
Mama Noah, Japheth, Yonah, Ham, Shem,
Aphra & Aysha
Blind Obedience – Noah
The Return of the Animals – Orchestra
The Naming (Reprise)/Noah's Lullaby –
Storytellers & Noah
Stranger to the Rain – Yonah
In Whatever Time We Have – Japheth &
The Flood – Father & Storytellers
What is He Waiting For? – Noah, Mama
Noah, Japheth, Ham, Shem, Aphra &
Sailor of the Skies – Yonah
The Spark of Creation (Reprise 2) – Mama
The Hardest Part of Love – Noah & Father
Words of Doom – Storytellers
The Hour of Darkness – Noah, Mama
Noah, Japheth, Yonah, Ham, Shem, Aphra
& Aysha
Ain’t it Good? – Mama Noah & Full
Precious Children – Father
In the Beginning – Japheth, Yonah, Noah,
Mama Noah, Father, & Full Company
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Children of Eden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1. ^ a b c Children of Eden: The New Musical, original London production playbill. London: Prince Edward
Theatre/Upstart & Atlantic Overtures. 1991
2. ^ a b "FAQ: On the Right Track" ( . Stephen Schwartz. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
3. ^ a b c "Children of Eden" ( . Additional Facts.
Music Theatre International. Retrieved August 10,
External links
Children of Eden (
Retrieved from ""
1991 musicals West End musicals Musicals based on religious traditions
Musicals based on the Bible
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