Book by John Caird
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Based on a concept by Charles Lisanby

Children of Eden | Book Musical | Rated G

  • About the Show

    From Stephen Schwartz and John Caird comes a joyous and inspirational musical about parents, children and faith... not to mention centuries of unresolved family business!

    Freely based on the story of Genesis, CHILDREN OF EDEN is a frank, heartfelt and often humorous examination of the age-old conflict between parents and children. Adam, Eve, Noah and the "Father" who created them deal with the headstrong, cataclysmic actions of their respective children. The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet but inspiring message: that "the hardest part of love... is letting go."

    A large cast is needed to take on the story of the Old Testament in this moving, foot-stomping musical. CHILDREN OF EDEN is a wonderful show to perform for children and students.

    Synopsis

    ACT ONE
    The story of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Abel.

    The musical begins in darkness. As the chorus of Storytellers describes the beginning of the world when Father created the heavens, candles are lit around the stage. Father comes on and declares, "Let there be light." In the song, "Let There Be," Father builds the world based on his dream. At the end of the song, he creates Adam and Eve and gives them the Garden of Eden to live in. Eden is a perfect place.

    Eve wants to know about the glowing tree on top of the hill. Father tells them it is the tree of knowledge, and they must never eat its fruit. Eve questions why Father put the tree there if it's not good. Father tells her to have faith in his reasons. To divert their attention away from the tree, Father asks Adam and Eve to help him name all the animals. With the help of the Storytellers pretending to be animals, Adam, Eve, and Father name the animals in the song, "The Naming." When that is done, Adam and Eve go to sleep as Father sings them a lullaby ("Grateful Children"). In the song, "Father's Day," Father reflects on how well his universe turned out. Meanwhile, in the night, Adam and Eve kiss and realize they are not brother and sister.

    One day, Eve goes up to the tree of knowledge and it enchants her. When she tries to show the tree to Adam, he is not interested and goes back to naming his bugs. However, Eve remains curious about the world beyond and sings about her desire for new experiences in "The Spark of Creation." A Snake comes up to Eve and asks her questions. Eve does not know the answers, but she is intrigued. In the song, "In Pursuit of Excellence," the Snake convinces Eve to pursue knowledge and eat the fruit of the tree. Eve eats the fruit and tricks Adam into eating it by turning it into juice. When Adam realizes that they have eaten from the tree of knowledge, he and Eve hide from Father. Father calls to them, but Adam is ashamed. Unashamed, Eve tells Father that she understands her own potential. Father orders Eve to leave the garden and tells Adam that he will make him a better wife. Adam chooses to stay with Eve instead of staying in Eden in the song, "A World Without You." Father exiles Adam and Eve to the wilderness in the song, "The Expulsion."

    Time passes in the song, "The Wasteland," as the Storytellers describe Adam and Eve's desolate new environment. Eve gives birth to two sons, Cain and Abel. Adam prays to Father to be let back into paradise. As the boys grow up, Cain becomes more curious about the world while Abel remains obedient to Adam. Eve worries that she has passed her hunger for knowledge onto Cain. In the song, "Lost in the Wilderness," Cain convinces Abel to leave their home to seek their own destinies out in the world. Father comes upon Cain and Abel and tells them that he has placed his hope in them. Cain declares he will find his own destiny without Father's help and storms off. Before he leaves, Father makes Abel promise that he won't tell Adam about the meeting and tells Abel that he is only hope for the future. When Adam learns that Cain is gone, he curses him but also remembers Cain and Abel playing childhood games in the song, "Close to Home."

    Cain returns and describes what he has found, "A Ring Of Stones," which means that Adam's family are not the only people in the world. Adam thinks the other people are barbarians and orders Cain to never speak of them again. However, Cain, wanting to be a part of a larger family, tries to leave, but Adam blocks his way. Abel tries to restrain Cain, but Cain kills him with a rock. Shouting to Adam that he should be dead, Cain runs off as Abel dies in Eve's arms. As Cain is running, Father appears before him and asks where his brother is. Cain asks if he is his brother's keeper. Father marks Cain's forehead and curses him and all his children in the song, "The Mark of Cain."

    Eve comes out. She is now an old woman. Adam has died. She introduces her third son, Seth, who is married with children. Father returns to Eve and tells her that Cain is alive. Eve tries to ask more questions, but Father disappears. Eve gathers the grandchildren together and tells them that this is her last harvest. In the song, "Children of Eden," Eve and the company dream of the day when they will return to their true home, Paradise.

    ACT TWO
    The story of Noah and the flood.

    The act begins in light, a thousand years after Act One. The Storytellers come on and sing "Generations," which traces the line of Adam to Noah and his three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Father wants Noah to quickly finish building the ark, so he can flood the world and destroy the line of Cain.

    Meanwhile, Noah has other worries. His youngest son, Japheth, is not married. When Japheth announces that he will present his bride at dinner, Noah and the family eagerly prepare for the feast in the song, "A Piece of Eight." At the dinner, Japheth announces that he wishes to marry Yonah, the servant girl who bears the mark of Cain. Noah declares that it will not be possible because Father would disapprove. Japheth storms off just as animals start appearing on their way to the ark. Noah and his family try to organize the animals, but more and more keep coming on during the dance, "The Return of the Animals." After everyone is onboard the ark, Noah sees Yonah standing alone and apologizes that he can not take her with him. Left alone, Yonah sings "Stranger To The Rain" as the rain starts to fall and she prepares to go her own way. Japheth finds Yonah, states that Father is wrong, and hides Yonah in the ark. They declare their love for each other in the song, "In Whatever Time We Have." As Japheth pulls Yonah into the ark, "The Flood" begins with Father sending down more rain.

    The rain continues for forty days and forty nights. With food running out, Noah and his family begin having cabin fever as they anxiously wait for the rain to stop in the song, "What Is He Waiting For?" Yonah, worried that she is the reason the rains have not stopped, sends a dove to find land during the song, "Sailor Of The Skies." Shem and Ham find Yonah on the ark. Ham fetches Noah who is very displeased with the situation. Shem tries to throw Yonah overboard. Japheth runs on to stop him, but Noah blocks his way and pushes him away. A fight ensues. Japheth almost kills Ham, but Yonah stands in his way. Japheth backs off. Mama Noah speaks up, and the children leave her alone with Noah. Noah reveals to her that Father no longer speaks to him. Mama Noah tells him that he must be the Father now. Alone, Noah reflects on the difficulty of being a father to a son who makes his own choices in the song, "The Hardest Part of Love." During the song, Father realizes he has to let humanity choose its own destiny.

    Noah marries Japheth to Yonah. The dove returns with an olive branch, and the stars come out. Mama Noah celebrates their new hope with the Storytellers in the song, "Ain't It Good." The sun shines, and the ark lands at Mount Ararat. The three sons decide to travel in different directions with different animals. Japheth announces that he will search for Eden. Noah says goodbye to his children. The musical ends with the song, "In The Beginning" in which Father promises not to destroy the earth again and to let humanity take responsibility for its own fate.

    Casting Information

    ABEL / HAM
    Abel: Cain's younger and more conservative brother who follows the “rules”. He chooses his parents over Cain. Ham: Japeth's middle brother and Aphra’s husband. He is not as docile as Japheth, nor as hot headed as Shem. Looks up to and follows Shem’s lead.
    Male, 18-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - G5

    ADAM / NOAH
    Adam: Eve's bright and childlike partner. He is initially devout to Father and loving to his wife & children. Later plagued by guilt. Hard-working and reserved. Noah: rough but simple. He is unsophisticated and shrewd, but also warm and loyal. He builds the ark to save his family and honor Father.
    Male, 25-35 yrs old
    Range: A3 - A5

    APHRA
    Ham’s pregnant wife. Longs for the flood to be over and is constantly worrying. Female, 20-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - E5

    AYSHA
    Shem’s wife. Cynically bitter and constantly accusing those aboard the ark. Female, 20-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - E5

    CAIN / JAPHETH
    Cain: Abel's older, adventurous brother. Follows in his mother’s footsteps and longs for the companionship of other humans. He is strong, stubborn, and independent. Japeth: in love with Yonah and is willing to sacrifice his life to be with her. He is Noah's youngest son. Clever, rebellious, stubborn.
    Male, 18-25 yrs old
    Range: B3 - A5

    ENSEMBLE
    FAMILY MEMBERS; CHILDREN; STORYTELLERS
    EVE / MAMA
    Eve: curious and questioning, smart and excited. Chose an imperfect life of knowledge over a perfect life of innocence. Mama: Noah's wife and inherently motherly. She possesses a gentle strength, is reassuring, and serves as the mediator of the family.
    Female, 25-35 yrs old
    Range: G3 - A5

    FATHER
    An older looking, impressive man. A true father figure, he wants the best for all of his children but parents with a firm hand. Protective, loving, and reminiscent of God. Male, 35-55 yrs old
    Range: G3 - A5

    SETH / SHEM
    Seth: Adam and Eve’s third son and their family's second chance at life. He is innocently adventurous. Shem: the oldest of Noah's three sons. Married to Aysha, he is impulsive, strong, and hot-tempered. Male, 20-30 yrs old
    Range: B3 - E5

    YONAH
    Noah’s servant who falls in love with Japheth and becomes his wife. A descendent of Cain. She is strong, yet humble, kind, and smart.
    Female, 20-30 yrs old
    Range: G3 - G5

    YOUNG ABEL
    The younger of the two brothers. Favors his father in personality. Obedient and devout. Male, 8-11 yrs old
    Range: B3 - D5

    YOUNG CAIN
    The older of the two brothers. Is curious and questioning like his mother. Intense. Male, 10-13 yrs old
    Range: B3 - D5

    Production Material

    LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK
    CD (PERUSAL)
    PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT I
    PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT II
    STUDY GUIDE

Partners & Associates

  • cipc
  • bsa
  • samro