Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

A Parable for Parents, Kids ; 'Children' Uses Bible to Look at Families

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

A Parable for Parents, Kids ; 'Children' Uses Bible to Look at Families

Article excerpt

Stephen Schwartz and John Caird drew inspiration for "Children of Eden" from the Bible's book of Genesis, but the essence of the musical's stories continues to play on in real life for families everywhere, says Eric Antey. The musical's stories of Father, Adam and Eve, Noah and their offspring draw loosely on the first book of the Old Testament, but they are contemporary as well, says Antey, the Castle High School theater teacher who is directing this year's Warrick County Summer Musical production that opens Thursday.

"The show tells what it's like to raise children and to grow up in a family."

Even Father, an omnipotent figure with the power to create the Earth, the animals and the planet's prototype humans, in this story runs up against the same kind of challenges every mortal parent faces in real life.

When he forbids Eve from sampling fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, she wants to know why, and why he planted the darned thing there to tempt her in the first place.

His answer, that he's the parent and she needs to trust him and obey, amounts to a common refrain often expressed simply as "Because I'm your father and I said so."

It's something many parents says at some point, said Antey. "And a lot of times those kinds of answers don't work."

It doesn't for Father, who, in his anger, banishes Eve when her hunger for fruit from the Tree of Knowledge leads her to defy him.

And when Adam chooses to depart with Eve and share her knowledge, he sets a path for all children who leave home to start new lives with spouses and families of their own.

Variations on the story play out in households everywhere, as parents seek to protect children from the dangers outside the home, but ultimately must relinquish control and authority and watch their descendants leave to repeat the cycle again and again with their own families.

In this musical it starts with Father and continues through Adam and Eve's descendants, including Noah, his children and one woman he'd like to keep off the Ark, but his son seeks to make his wife.

For Antey and his wife, Amanda, the show's choreographer, this production resonates more deeply than it did when they worked together on Central High School's production of it, years ago. …

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