Bluefield University Theatre will present the Stephen Schwartz/John Caird musical Children of Eden on February 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. and February 26 at 3 p.m. in Harman Chapel Auditorium on the Bluefield University campus. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and may be booked at https://our.show/bu/childrenofeden. Tickets are $12 and $7 at the door on the day of the performance.
Children of Eden was first written in 1991 and features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (composer of such stage hits as Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked) and a script by playwright/director John Caird. Inspired by the book of Genesis, Act I deals with the creation, the fall and subsequent expulsion from Eden, and the story of Cain and Abel while Act II looks at the story of Noah and the flood. Throughout the play, the script looks at family dysfunction as a metaphor for God’s broken relationship with his creation and the choice that each of us must face on whether to reconcile or remain in conflict with each other and with our Creator.
The Bluefield University production features theatre professor Charles M. Reese in the role of Father. Adam/Noah is played by recent Bluefield University theatre graduate Brian Fisher with Eve/Mama Noah played by theatre junior Laura Horton. Cain/Japheth is played by high school senior Xander Alvarez with Abel/Ham played by high school senior Noah Munique. Young Cain and Abel are played by Cannon Smith and Levi Mullins. The role of Yonah (the fictional wife of Japheth) is played by BU senior Ana Nunes Barros. Seth/Shem is played by Bluefield University student Ian Matullo. Aysha and Aphra (wives of Shem and Ham) are played by Abbie Bradley and Abigail McComas. The serpent in the garden of Eden is a twenty-foot puppet voiced by five puppeteers/actors—BU graduates Noah Jennings and Alysia Townsley and current BU theatre students General Smith, Claire Fisher, and Abigail McComas. Additionally, the cast includes a chorus of twenty BU alumni, Bluefield Youth Theatre performers, and community members including Jennifer Alavarez, Blaire Anderson, Alandra Blume, Isabella Deel, Bethany Goins, Deacon Goins, Arielle Haynes, Elie Haynes, April Munique, Miles Munique, Finn Smith, Alexandra Stout, Callie Wilkerson, Bear Woodard, and Leif Young.
The production is directed by Charles M. Reese and Rebecca McCoy-Reese. Music Direction is by Bluefield University choral accompanist Alandra Blume. Choreography is by Bluefield University Theatre senior Abigail McComas. Costume design is by Brian Fisher.
“This has been a real labor of love,” said Reese. “We started rehearsing the music for Children of Eden in September—that means that many of us have been looking forward to this production for six months. We are so excited to see it finally come to fruition. It is a beautiful, moving story of grace and reconciliation.”
Children of Eden opens on February 23 and runs through February 26. Performances will be on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in Harman Auditorium. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for senior adults and students from other institutions. Tickets are $12 and $7 at the door. Admission is free for BU students, faculty, and staff. To reserve your seats today, visit https://our.show/bu/childrenofeden.
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