Children Of Eden JR.
Based on the story of Genesis, the age-old conflict of parents and children takes the stage in a new adaptation of Stephen Schwartz’s epic and heartfelt musical.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

In the beginning, Father is alone in an empty universe. In a whirl of activity shared by the Storytellers, he creates heaven and earth; morning and night; bugs and fish; and, eventually, Adam and Eve. Father places them in the Garden of Eden, hoping they will prosper and worship him ("Let There Be"). He breathes life into his new children and greets them ("Father's Greeting").

Adam and Eve begin asking questions about the world around them. Eve asks Father about a particular tree, and he finally admits it is the Tree of Knowledge. He makes them promise never to go near it. Father distracts them by tasking them with naming all the creatures in the world ("The Naming"). After the naming, Father puts his children to bed, and they pray ("Grateful Children").

Eventually, curiosity gets the best of Eve, and she makes her way to the Tree of Knowledge ("Perfect"). Adventurous Eve expresses her burning desire to see and learn everything she possibly can ("The Spark Of Creation"). Meanwhile, the Snake suggests that Eve seek knowledge, posing questions about the world that she cannot answer. However, the Snake has a solution: eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge ("In Pursuit Of Excellence – Part 1"). At first, Eve resists, but the Snake finally convinces her to eat the fruit ("In Pursuit of Excellence – Part 3"). Nothing will ever be the same ("The End Of A Perfect Day").

Adam tries to hide what Eve has done, but Father finds out what has happened. He tells Eve that she must leave the garden ("Childhood's End"). Father offers to make Adam a new wife, but Adam chooses Eve and eats the fruit ("A World Without You"). With great sadness and fury, Father banishes his children ("The Expulsion").

It is difficult, but Adam and Eve make a life for themselves and bring two children into their family: Young Cain and Young Abel ("Close To Home"). As Cain and Abel grow, Eve sees too much of her curiosity in Cain, and it worries her ("The Spark Of Creation – Reprise"). Cain urges Abel to explore with him, despite Adam's disapproval, insisting that they deserve better ("Lost In The Wilderness"). Just as they prepare to leave, Father approaches them. Abel is eager to greet him, but Cain is bitter and resentful of Father. Cain rushes off, and Father tells Abel that all his hopes for the future live in him ("Lost In The Wilderness – Reprise").

Cain returns home, revealing to his family that he has found evidence of other people. He invites his brother to come be part of this new family ("Clash Of The Generations"), but Abel decides to stay with Adam and Eve. As Cain tries to leave, Adam blocks his path, and in the struggle Cain kills Abel ("Death Of Abel"). A furious Father curses Cain and all of his descendants by placing a mark on Cain that all of his descendants must bear ("The Mark Of Cain").

Many years later, when she is an old woman, Eve tells Father about Seth, the son she and Adam had after Abel's death. She also tells Father about Adam's death and Father finally speaks to Eve again. As she dies, she offers a last bit of advice to her children ("Children Of Eden").

A thousand years pass, and the Storytellers share the history of the generations of Adam, ending with the current generation: Noah, Mama Noah, and their sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth ("Generations"). Father has advised Noah to build an ark and make sure his sons are married. Noah and his family finish the ark, and Japheth, the only son who hasn't wed, tells his family that he will reveal his choice for a wife at dinner. Several courses of dinner pass, and Japheth finally reveals that Yonah, the sweet servant girl, is his choice. Everyone, including Yonah, is shocked ("A Piece Of Eight").

Yonah bears the mark of Cain, and Father insists that Noah's children cannot marry anyone with that mark. Animals begin to fill the ark, and as Noah sings to them, he spots Yonah in the distance ("Noah's Lullaby"). Yonah understands why she cannot stay on the ark, and Noah apologizes to her.

Yonah prepares to weather the storm ("Stranger To The Rain"), however, Japheth insists she come aboard the ark. Yonah is reluctant, but Japheth expresses his love ("In Whatever Time We Have") as Father, disapproving, watches Japheth pull her into the ark. Forty days and nights pass on the ark while Japheth keeps Yonah hidden from his family. Everyone is afraid they will starve before the rain passes ("The Flood"/"What Is He Waiting For"). Yonah has an idea: she releases
a dove into the air, tasking it with finding land, ("Sailor Of The Skies") but Ham and Shem discover that she's been on the ark the whole time.

Shem wants to get rid of Yonah, but Japheth threatens to kill his brother if he touches her. A fight ensues that mirrors the fight between Adam, Cain, and Abel. Yonah rushes to protect Ham and stops the fight. Japheth tells Noah that whatever he decides to do to Yonah, he must do to him as well. Noah speaks to a silent Father, asking for guidance. ("The Hardest Part Of Love"). Noah finally comes to a decision and marries Japheth and Yonah for her strength. As the family awaits their fate at Father's hand, Noah praises Yonah for her strength and asks her forgiveness ("The Hour Of Darkness"). To everyone's great relief, the dove Yonah released returns with evidence of land, and the family rejoices ("Ain't It Good"). They reach land and vow to split up and explore the earth, repopulating the new world and spreading knowledge as they do. Father proudly observes his children ("In The Beginning").

← Back to Children Of Eden JR.
Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Strong/Large Chorus

Character Breakdown


Father is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe. Father has a larger-than-life persona and embodies an authoritative presence, balanced with a fair amount of humor and a sense of fun. Father truly loves his children but expects obedience, and is not afraid to punish them if they don't follow his wishes. Cast an excellent, advanced actor and a great singer in this role who can truly command the stage. Ideally, this actor will read as older onstage.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2

Adam/Noah should be a versatile performer. Adam embodies the excitement, wonder, and childlike innocence of mankind before the fall, and also the strength and persistence needed after they are expelled from the Garden. He should pair well and have a great relationship with Eve, since he will eventually choose her over Father. Noah is also the leader of his family but is a bit less serious, although he also must make a big decision that affects the lives of everyone he loves. Cast a performer who is a natural leader and has a charismatic stage presence. This performer should be a great actor and a wonderful singer, and be comfortable taking command of the stage.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: Ab2

Eve/Mama must win over the audience's hearts. Eve is bright, precocious, loving, and has an adventurous streak. Ultimately, her curiosity is what leads to her banishment, though she never stops loving Father. Her life gets harder after leaving the Garden, but Eve's spark never fully goes out. Mama is more subtle than Eve, but has a deep strength that is evident in her love for her family. She honest, smart, and is not afraid to offer Noah her advice and opinions. This role calls for an exceptional actress and outstanding singer who can make strong character choices. Eve/ Mama should also pair well with Adam/Noah.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3

The Snake (Snake 1, Snake 2, Snake 3, Snake 4, and Snake 5) lures Eve to the tree and ultimately convinces her to take a bite of the apple. This is a great place to put excellent movers or dancers who can make the Snake feel cohesive.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Young Cain

Young Cain is reminiscent of Eve in the Garden. He is curious, confident, and wants to know the answers to all his questions. Cast a good actor and singer who can work with Cain to create continuity between the character as a child and an adult.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Db4
Vocal range bottom: Gb2
Young Abel

Young Abel is gentle, sweet, and content with their life as a family, even without the Garden. He loves his parents and his brother, and does not have the same need for answers as Young Cain. Cast a good actor and singer who can work with Abel to create continuity between the character at both ages.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Db4
Vocal range bottom: Gb2

Cain/ Japheth must be comfortable making strong choices onstage. Cain is passionate, curious, longs for adventure, and places the blame squarely at his parents' feet for giving away his portion of the Garden. He is angry at Adam, Eve, Father, and the unfairness of his circumstances. He doesn't return from beyond the waterfall with the intention to kill Abel - but, he allows rage to overtake him, and must endure the consequences. Japheth is more polished than Cain, though has a similar rebellious streak that almost results in the same tragedy. His love for Yonah is his driving force, and he is willing to risk everything in order for them to be together. Cast a fantastic singer and a wonderful actor as Cain/Japheth. Remember, these roles require some stage combat, so make sure to cast a mature performer who can be trusted to execute fight choreography safely.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: C#3

Abel/Ham should be able to create two completely different characters. Abel is gentle, thoughtful, and obedient. He would never cause trouble on his own, but he is caught between his love for his brother, Cain, and his love for his parents. Though Abel respects his parents and Father, Cain can usually find a way to convince Abel to follow him. Abel reflects Adam's choice to leave the Garden, and his death is a turning point in the show. Ham is one of Noah's sons, and Aphra's husband. He wants to please Father, and is more mild-mannered than his brother Shem. Cast a performer in these roles who is a good singer and solid actor. Keep in mind that these roles must also learn fight choreography, so make sure you cast a responsible actor who will complete the choreography safely every time.

Vocal range top: E4
Vocal range bottom: F3

Seth/Shem should focus mostly on Shem. Seth appears onstage at an important time in the story, but does not speak or sing. Shem is the oldest of the brothers and rather hot-headed. Married to Aysha, he is the first to blame Yonah for the family's problems aboard the ark. Shem does not have a solo, so he does not need to be a strong singer. Cast an expressive actor with a great stage presence who can make strong character choices.

Gender: male

Yonah is a descendant of Cain who works as a servant for Noah's family. While Yonah finds herself in unfortunate circumstances, she handles adversity with grace and strength. She is kind and selfless, and ultimately wins Father and Noah over with her goodness when Noah finally gives she and Japheth permission to wed. Cast an expressive actress with a wonderful singing voice who pairs well with Cain/Japheth.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: Ab3

Aysha is a bit unhappy with their situation aboard the ark. Married to Shem, she also blames Yonah for their troubles, and isn't afraid to let everyone know exactly what she thinks. Aysha does not need to be a strong singer - instead, look for an animated performer with a good stage presence for this role.

Gender: female

Aphra is a bit of worrywart. Married to Ham, she worries about the flood, and how it will affect their growing family. Like Aysha, Aphra doesn't need to be a strong singer, but she should be a good actor able to embody Aphra's sensitive nature.

Gender: female

Ensemble consists of the Storytellers, Soloist, Soloist (1, 2, 3), Female Soloist, Seth's Wife, and optional Animals. Feel free to cast as many performers as Storytellers who want to participate in the show. For Soloist, Soloist (1, 2, 3), and Female Soloist, check the vocal range to make sure you cast a performer who can handle the music. Seth's Wife does not speak and does not need to be a strong singer, so this is a great cameo for a newer performer.

Gender: any
Female Soloist
Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Gender: male
Vocal range top: G3
Vocal range bottom: G2
Soloist 1
Gender: any
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: F#4
Soloist 2
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Soloist 3
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: G3
Costume Notes 

When designing costumes for Children of Eden JR., the most important point to remember is that the costumes should help tell the story. Making a few specific costumes choices to suggest a sense of the time period is a great way to visually unify the show. Remember, no one expects your production to have completely period-accurate clothing, but well-researched, thoughtful costumes can help a young actor achieve confidence onstage.

A great way to cut down on costume cost is to ask your cast to provide base costumes - and luckily, Children of Eden JR. is the perfect show to use them! Base costumes are simple items that the students probably already have in their closets. For example, plain khaki pants, white t-shirts, and slipper-style shoes or ballet shoes are great base costumes for your Storytellers, or brown pants and green shirts if you use Storytellers to create the Garden. If the Storytellers provide those pieces, then your costume designer must only provide a long tunic or a shawl to transform the actor.

Scenery Notes 

Children of Eden JR. is a great show for a simple unit set. The three main locations throughout the show are the Garden, Adam and Eve's home in the Wasteland, and Noah's Ark, and these locales are easily specified with the addition to your unit set of a few scenic elements. Remember, the most important aspects of the set design are to make sure your set is versatile enough to function as different locations, to leave plenty of room for the cast to move around onstage, and to give you lots of options for different levels in your staging. Keep in mind that the set should only enhance the storytelling - even if you have the budget and the manpower to create lavish, complicated scenery for each location, your young actors should always be the most important component in this process.

Children of Eden JR. was written to be performed without any major scene changes or stops in the action. The scenes literally flow from one right into the next. The writers paid careful attention to ensure that any underscoring for a change in location or story is brief and specific. Do your absolute best to stay within the music and time allotted (based on the length of underscoring) for all transitions or risk presenting a show that lacks energy and good pacing.

Full Song List
Children Of Eden Jr. : Let There Be
Children Of Eden Jr. : Father's Greeting
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Naming
Children Of Eden Jr. : Grateful Children
Children Of Eden Jr. : Perfect
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Spark of Creation
Children Of Eden Jr. : In Pursuit of Excellence - Part 1
Children Of Eden Jr. : In Pursuit of Excellence - Part 3
Children Of Eden Jr. : The End of A Perfect Day
Children Of Eden Jr. : Childhood’s End
Children Of Eden Jr. : A World Without You
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Expulsion
Children Of Eden Jr. : Wasteland/Wilderness Family
Children Of Eden Jr. : Close To Home
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Spark Of Creation – Reprise
Children Of Eden Jr. : Lost In The Wilderness
Children Of Eden Jr. : Lost In The Wilderness – Reprise
Children Of Eden Jr. : Clash Of The Generations
Children Of Eden Jr. : Death Of Abel
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Mark Of Cain
Children Of Eden Jr. : Children Of Eden
Children Of Eden Jr. : Generations
Children Of Eden Jr. : A Piece Of Eight
Children Of Eden Jr. : Noah’s Lullaby
Children Of Eden Jr. : Stranger To The Rain
Children Of Eden Jr. : In Whatever Time We Have
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Flood/What Is He Waiting For
Children Of Eden Jr. : Sailor Of The Skies
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Hardest Part Of Love
Children Of Eden Jr. : The Hour Of Darkness
Children Of Eden Jr. : Ain’t It Good
Children Of Eden Jr. : In The Beginning

Curriculum Connection

  • Writing skills
  • Measurements
  • Animal classifications
  • Water safety and survival skills
  • Illustrations
  • Religious studies and comparisons


Based on a concept by Charles Lisanby


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[Name of Licensee]
Production of

Book by
John Caird
Music and Lyrics by
Stephen Schwartz
Based on a concept by Charles Lisanby
Orchestrations by
Bruce Coughlin and Martin Erskine

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Included Materials

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