EPHRAIM—Early Bible stories take stage front and center as the Snow College theater department presents “Children of Eden” April 21,22,23 in the Eccles Center Kim Christison Theatre. The play focuses on Adam and Eve and their family, and Noah’s family and the ark, from Genesis.
The musical play is directed by Davis Underwood, and will be conducted by Brian Stucki, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
The play is all about family and starts with the creation of the universe as Father breathes life into Adam and Eve. Father must let his new children make their own choices.
Father tells them to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge but doesn’t really tell them why. They are distracted naming all the animals, but with a serpent’s urgings, Eve eats from the forbidden tree and begins to see more about the world. She gets Adam to eat the fruit, and after hiding in the garden, they are cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Then Adam and Eve face parenting choices as well with their sons, Cain and Abel. Eve sees that Cain, like her, is anxious to see more of the world. Cain leaves the family and goes into the wasteland. When Cain returns, he tells the family he can prove of the existence of other people. A family fight ensues, and when Abel tries to intervene between Adam and Cain, and in his fury, Cain beats Abel to death. Cain is driven away and marked with a curse and told it will be on all his descendants.
The storytellers continue their story, following the lineage of both Seth and Cain, eventually tracing all the way down to Noah and his family, whose story comprises the second act’s plot.
Noah has three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Japheth is unhappy with the wife Noah wants him to take and wants to marry a servant-girl, Yonah, a descendant of the race of Cain. Noah will not allow Yonah on the ark. All the animals, played by the storytellers, come to the ark so that they can board and be saved from the
Noah finds Yonah outside and explains to her that she cannot board the ark, and he leaves to board. She understands her plight and continues to face her problems with an open heart and mind, as she always has. Japheth finds Yonah as she is leaving and convinces her to sneak on to the ark with him. Japheth and Yonah vow to spend whatever time they have left with one another and board the ark just as the flood begins.
The world is flooded, and as the family struggles to survive on the ark, Yonah, who has not been discovered yet, releases a dove to find dry land and save the residents of the ark. Then the family discovers Yonah, and Shem and Ham wish to throw her overboard, but Japheth intervenes. It ends in a fight, mirroring the one between Adam and Cain generations ago, and it is only because Yonah intervenes that one of the brothers is not killed.
Noah is unsure as to what to do and sings of the difficulties that he has faced in being a father, while at the same time Father sings of the problems he has faced in being a father, but both come to terms with the fact that if you love something, you must let it go.
Overall, the inspiring music is meant to celebrate the challenges of making choices, passion, the value of consequences, and the pain of allowing those you love to take risks.
Cast of characters: Father (Liam Herbert), Adam (Jaxon Buckway), Eve (Abby Huff), Abel (Jared Swift), Cain (Parker Smith), Noah (Bryce Hammond), Mama Noah (Kaylee Hairel), Japheth (Grayson O’Very), Yonah (Bailey Lawson), Ham (Rees Herbert), Shem (Joe Williams), Aysha (Malorie Smith), Aphra (Casie Bearden), Young Cain (Colter Tidlund), Young Abel (Kasen Nipko).
Tickets are available for purchase at snow.edu/theatre under Theatre Events. Adult tickets are $12, youth (5-18) and senior (60+) tickets are $10, and Snow College student tickets are $3 with ID.