Theatre & Music Deparments Present Stephen Schwartz's "Children of Eden"
SIOUX FALLS – Augustana’s departments of theatre and music open the 2008-2009 season with the popular Stephen Schwartz musical “Children of Eden.”
Performances are November 19-22 at 7:30 p.m., and November 22-23 at 2:30 p.m., in the main theatre at the Edith Mortenson Center. The theatre parking lot can be accessed by heading east from Grange Avenue and 29th Street.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. All seating is general admission. The ticket office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Order by phone at 605.274.5320 or online at www.augietickets.com. All major credit cards are accepted.
Known for his musicals "Godspell" and "Pippin," and for the Academy Award-winning songs he wrote for the animated features "Pocahontas," "The Prince of Egypt," and “Enchanted,” Schwartz once again turns to the Old Testament as his subject matter for "Children of Eden."
In two acts the musical tells the stories of Adam and Eve, and Noah and the flood. Using a wide variety of musical styles, the show addresses the intergenerational conflicts and patterns that are passed so easily from parent to child.
"It's about second chances," says Schwartz. Indeed, the musical is a compelling story of love, rage, guilt, and their consequences, as well as the need to begin again. The show is appropriate for the entire family.
"Children of Eden" is now one of the top 20 musicals licensed by Music Theatre International, something almost unheard of for a show that never played on Broadway. The musical originally premiered in London in January 1991.
Regrettably, the debut coincided with the start of the Gulf War. Subsequent fears of international travel led to a bleak tourism season in London and one of the worst slumps in West End theatre attendance in history. The musical was unable to survive.
Schwartz then brought the show to the United States, rewriting it constantly for the numerous small theatre productions that were done over the next several years. His work watching, tweaking and tuning the piece made it leaner and more focused. Still, the show never did play on Broadway, although it did receive a high profile production in 1998 at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse. Schwartz boasts, "Now it's a much better show."
Helming the Augustana production is faculty member Ivan Fuller, who directed the hit musical “Urinetown” last season. Joining Dr. Fuller on the production team is musical director Dr. Scott Johnson. Choreographing the show is Juan Holguin. Scenic and lighting designs are by Rj Fitzsimmons. Guest artist, Jennifer Shouse-Klaussen, is the costume designer.
“Children of Eden” features one of the largest casts in recent Augustana history with more than 40 singers, dancers and musicians, including seven children from area schools.
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