Theater At St. Luke's Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN

Theater At St. Luke's Presents CHILDREN OF EDEN

St. Luke's United Methodist Church presents Children of Eden, the story of a big family making mistakes, learning to forgive, and embracing new beginnings. The show, directed by Steve MacKinnon, features music by Grammy award-winning, Tony-nominated composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell).

Theatergoers will experience the story of how Adam, Eve, Noah and the "Father" who created them manage the headstrong, disastrous actions of their children. Act I explores creation and the Garden of Eden with a dramatic twist from the familiar Bible story. The intensity builds in Act II as the songs "Generations" and "The Gathering Storm" tell the story of Noah, the ark, and the flood. All the while, "Father" is watching over his children as they learn and grow. Based on the first nine and a half chapters of Genesis, this heartfelt, inspirational musical ultimately delivers a bittersweet, yet beautiful message: "the hardest part of love...is letting go."

MacKinnon, now in his eighth award-winning season with St. Luke's theater program, shared that, "Children of Eden has always been on my list of shows to produce at St. Luke's. It packs a powerful emotional punch, challenges our audiences, and is a flowerbed of opportunity for creative storytelling. We have assembled a diverse, multi-generational, multi-faith, and insanely gifted group of musical theatre performers, dancers, aerialists, musicians, and technicians to tell this powerful story of reconciliation, acceptance, second chances, and family dysfunction all through one of the world's most famous families!"

The cast features Kit Cleto in the role of Father, Dustin Russel as Adam/Noah, Lillie Thomas as Eve/Mama Noah, Jared Warren as Abel/Ham, Victor Souffrant as Cain/Japheth, Russell Grady Stephens as Seth/Shem, Jade Jones as Aysha, Tristan Flournoy as Aphra, and Laurel Hatfield as Yonah.

St. Luke's Lead Pastor, The Rev. Jennifer Stiles Williams, spoke to the significance of producing this show when she noted, "These are stories many of us grew up learning in church or Sunday school but the cast brings them to life in a whole new imaginative way. This is an opportunity to explore what happens when we make God more like us, instead of allowing God to be bigger than our boxes."

Children of Eden features a dynamic ensemble, pit choir, full orchestra, and storytellers of all ages. MacKinnon is joined by Music Directors Amy Martin Cole and John R. Mason, III, Assistant Director Barbara Hartwig, Choreographer Spencer Morrow, Costume Designer A.J. Garcia, Lighting Designer George Jackson, Sound Designer Anthony Narciso, and Stage Manager Tiffany Lyn Meadows.

Children of Eden runs select dates from June 7 through June 16 on the Founder's Hall stage at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, located at 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd. Orlando, FL 32819. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $15, at st.lukes.org/childrenofeden.

Children of Eden is based on the book by John Caird, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The show is based on the concept by Charles Lisan with orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin and Martin Erskine. Children of Eden is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI (www.MTIShows.com).



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