Student theater board Lovers & Madmen’s production of Children of Eden, directed by Communication senior Jeremy Sutherland, adds a musical twist to the book of Genesis. Written by Stephen Schwartz, the show follows the story of Adam and Eve, Cain/Abel and Noah’s ark, though the show hits on other themes as well.
“At the end of the day, this isn’t a show about the Bible," said Communication junior and producer Kendra Gujral. "This is a show about family and repeating history and the importance of hate and love mixing together, as well as the feelings that pass on from one generation to the next."
According to Gujral, Lovers & Madmen picked the show at the end of spring quarter last year but just started working on putting the music together earlier this quarter. This was one of the biggest challenges for the cast: learning 400 pages of music in four weeks.
To tackle this challenge, Bienen freshmen Paige Dirkes-Jacks, who plays Eve and Mama Noah, spent a significant amount of time listening to the music and practicing outside of rehearsals, both on her own and during voice lessons. She said that playing these characters has been a dream for her.
“I think they’re both strong and passionate and have a fierce, fierce love for their family and for the people they care about, and that’s what drives them through the show,” she said.
Both Gujral and Dirkes-Jacks mentioned their love for the music in the show. Children of Eden is packed with fantastic group numbers like “Lost in the Wilderness”, “Generations” and “Ain’t It Good?” as well as powerful solos like “The Spark of Creation” and “Stranger to the Rain.”
Also memorable are the paper animal masks used in the scene where the animals board the ark two by two. From lions to unicorns, The gentle, whimsical music and cast’s animal-inspired movement bring the scene to life.
“There’s some beautiful, beautiful messages in this show. My favorite lyric in the entire show is ‘Our hands can choose to drop the knife / our hands can stop the hating,’” Dirkes-Jacks said. “I think everyone needs to hear that sometimes, and the fact that there is always a choice in how we live and how we treat people in little ways and big ways. Everyone always has a choice, and that’s super important, and this show exemplifies that really well.”
Children of Eden will be playing on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the McCormick Auditorium at Norris. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for general admission.