11th Hour Theatre Company continues its 18-19 season with a Next Step Concert presentation of John Caird’s, Stephen Schwartz’s and Charles Lisanby’s inspirational musical based on the Genesis story, Children of Eden. 11th Hour’s Next Step Concert Series is now set to run over two weekends. This family friendly musical runs December 1-9. Official Media Opening is Sunday, December 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $36 (which includes a $4 service fee). $19 tickets are available online for Students and Industry. Tickets are available online or by phone 267-987-9865. All performances will take place at The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 302 South Hicks Street.
With the Next Step Concert Series, 11th Hour brings concert versions of musicals to the stage featuring a live band, theatrical lighting and sound design. The series is intimate, spontaneous and inventive – everything audiences have come to expect from 11th Hour. Musicals are stripped down to their very essence…good storytelling and incredible music.
Perfect for the holiday season, Children of Eden is a joyous and inspirational musical based on the genesis story and presented in a brand-new way. Featuring a beautiful score by musical theatre great, Stephen Schwartz, a book by John Caird, and based on a concept by Charles Lisanby, this universal story about about parents, children and the unbreakable bond between them is sure to be a hit for the whole family.
“When we decided to produce Children of Eden, we felt that it would be a perfect show for the holiday season. The piece at its core is all about family and the joy, and the challenges, that come with raising children,” said 11th Hour Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Michael Philip O’Brien “The music in the piece is spectacular and it is truly a story that anyone can relate to. It also helps that we have an exceptionally talented group of performers who will bring the story to life!”
The cast includes: Christopher McCrewell as Father, Scott Guthrie as Adam/Noah, Kyleen Shaw as Eve/Mama Noah, Robi Hager as Cain/Japheth, Philip Anthony Wilson as Abel/Ham, Jack Henry as Yonah/Storyteller, and Janet Rowley Klimowski as Storyteller. 11th Hour reached out to the theatre department at Temple University and invited students from Temple to participate in the concert as additional Storytellers. The Storytellers include: J.J. Vavrik, Sebastein Diaquoi, Andrew Patterson, Darius Redmon, Caitlin Navarrete, Adi Mullen, Francesca Nong, and Zoe Hunchak.
“We have been looking for an opportunity to collaborate with Temple University for some time and this seemed like a great fit!. There is a large storytelling ensemble in the show which includes many features for each person. We want to make sure that all of the students truly feel like a part of the cast and that they all get to show their stuff as well. We are thrilled to give them the opportunity to work alongside some of Philly’s best professional actors and to introduce our audience to some of Philly’s theatre artists of the future,” added Michael O’Brien.
11th Hour Theatre Company Co-Founder and Resident Director Megan Nicole O’Brien is directing this concert presentation. Gina Gianchero is the Music Director. Amanda Jensen is the Lighting Designer. Mark Valenzuela is the Sound Designer/Engineer. Cara Lisa Franz is the Stage Manager. The band features: Tom Goslin on Guitar, Will Mullen on Reeds, Caty Butler on Bass, and Meghan Doyle on Drums.
Saturday, December 1 @ 8pm
Sunday, December 2 @ 2pm
Sunday, December 2 @ 7pm
Thursday, December 6 @ 7pm
Friday, December 7 @ 8pm
Saturday, December 8 @ 8pm
Sunday, December 9 @ 2pm
Background on Children of Eden
From musical theatre greats, Stephen Schwartz and John Caird, Children of Eden is a joyous and inspirational musical about parents, children and faith… not to mention centuries of unresolved family business! An expansive and ambitious musical, the original production used a cast of sixty.
Adam, Eve, Noah and the “Father” who created them deal with the headstrong, cataclysmic actions of their respective children. The show ultimately delivers a bittersweet. but inspiring. message: that “the hardest part of love… is letting go.”
Children of Eden was originally written in 1986 as Family Tree for a production by Youth Sing Praise, a religious-oriented high school theatre camp performed at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. Stephen Schwartz adapted the script and music of Family Tree into a full-length musical, giving it the title it uses today.
The show never ran on Broadway. Throughout the 1990s, the show received numerous productions at both the amateur and professional levels; it was also reworked and edited, with songs and scenes being added and cut. In 1997, a major production was mounted at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, featuring Stephanie Mills. A cast recording of this production was produced by Schwartz himself. This revised version, commonly known as the “American version” or “Paper Mill version”, is substantially what is currently licensed for production in the United States.
LGBTQ+ Happy Hour
Miss Elaineous hosts the LGBTQ+ Happy Hour Thursday, December 6th. Starting at 5pm, audiences can join the reigning queen of Philly Drag Wars for $5 drink specials, trivia, and more before the 7pm concert performance of Children Of Eden.
Chelsey Luster, lobby artist for Children of Eden, will also be present to talk about her art at the the LGBTQ+ Happy Hour. Chelsey’s work depicts black womanhood, personal narratives, and empowerment in her work by using various mediums such as drawing, painting, and printmaking. The women in her work represent the complexities caused by the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and sexuality within black womanhood.
About 11th Hour Theatre Company
11th Hour Theatre Company is the only company in Philadelphia dedicated to producing all musicals, all the time. Intimate by design, 11th Hour creates a lasting experience with the audience by producing character-driven musical theatre.
11th Hour produces a broad spectrum of musicals that fill a niche in the diverse Philadelphia theatre landscape: musicals that spark the creativity of artists and the imaginations of audiences. Over the past eleven seasons, they have produced seventeen full-scale musicals, nine of which were Philadelphia premieres. In addition to the World Premiere of their first commission, Field Hockey Hot, the company has contributed to the development of several new musicals beginning with Angst, a ten-minute musical that premiered in the Spark Festival of 2005. 11th Hour produced the American premiere of Austentatious that went on to success at the New York Musical Theatre Festival; and a 29-hour reading of Fantasy Football, the Musical? before its production at New York University. Both Austentatious and Fantasy Football have since been published and are now professionally licensed. In the fall of 2014, 11th Hour partnered with University of the Arts to workshop Persephone Unplugged, a new twist on the classic Greek myth. With support from the Independence Foundation, 11th Hour recently commissioned their second musical from a local writing team, a Civil War-themed project currently titled Something Like a War.
11th Hour has received a total of 55 Barrymore Award nominations. Their work has been recognized with 15 awards, including five recently for Lizzie (including Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical), and several individual awards for their artists. Founding member Steve Pacek was also the proud recipient of the 2012 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist. In 2013, 11th Hour became the first-ever recipient of the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theater.