HOUGHTON, N.Y. - Houghton College’s lyric theatre program will present the musical Children of Eden Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12, in Wesley Chapel. Show time is 7:30 p.m. on both days and tickets cost $10 for general admission and $5 for children and students. Purchase tickets online at www.houghton.edu/eden or by phone at 585.567.9210 or in person at the Houghton College Welcome Center.
“Author John Caird and composer Stephen Schwartz have adapted the first nine chapters of Genesis into an enchanting family entertainment of splendor and sweep.” –Variety Magazine
“In this moving, foot-stomping musical [of an Old Testament story], Children of Eden is a wonderful show for children and students.” –Music Theatre International
The music and lyrics for Children of Eden were composed by Stephen Schwartz, who also composed the music for the Tony Award winning musicals Wicked and Godspell. The book for Children of Eden was written by John Caird who also wrote The Beggar’s Opera and received a Tony for his direction of Les Miserables in 1987.
The story is loosely based upon Old Testament scripture, specifically the book of Genesis. The first act follows the story of God’s creation of the world and Adam and Eve, the Fall, and the conflict between Cain and Abel. Act 2 takes place hundreds of years later, and tells the story of Noah, his wife and his three sons; Shem, Ham and Japheth.
“The production will feature a larger than life tree for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and larger than life animals in both the creation and ark scenes,” commented Mitchell Hutchings, director and assistant professor of voice and opera. “There will also be many challenging Broadway songs, as well as elaborate staging and dancing.”
The production features a full cast. Sophomore Tim McGowan and junior Hannah Renée Becker will fill the roles of Adam and Eve. Graduate student Sean Douglas lends his tenor voice to the role of Noah, with senior Suzannah Waddington cast as his wife Mama Noah. Junior Wynn Horton will fill the role of Father (God’s name in the musical).
Other graduate students involved include Margaret McGowan as Yonah, Robbie Stitt as Abel and Shem, William Strydhorst as Seth, Kelly Van Kirk as Aysha, and collaborative pianists Caleb Lawson and Elizabeth Martindale.
Directed by professor Mitchell Hutchings, the new director of lyric theatre here at Houghton, Children of Eden will be the first musical theatre production to be performed in Wesley Chapel.
Children of Eden was orchestrated by Bruce Coughlin and Martin Erskine. Coughlin has been a part of the production of 9 to 5: The Musical as well as Guys and Dolls. Erskine has recently arranged the music for the movie Captain America and The Music Man. The musical is based on a concept by Charles Lisanby who worked in shows such as Once Upon a Mattress and Applause with Carol Burnett and Bob Banner.
The production Children Of Eden is made possible through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).