‘Children of Eden’ opens Dec. 2
For the cast and crew of “Children of Eden,” the entire production is a family affair.
During auditions, Producer Kris Garrett said she encouraged parents to audition with their children for the musical.
“It’s really a story about family, compassion, mistakes and forgiveness,” Garrett said. “We do the theater thing as a family, so we wanted to focus in on that. This was a way for families to all be together.”
Based freely on the Genesis stories of Adam, Eve, Noah, their children and their “Father,” the Theater of Artistic Discipline production is about parents, children and faith, not to mention centuries of unresolved family business.
Robert Miller, 47, plays Noah and is one of the storytellers. Although he has never done any theater before, he wanted to do something with his son, Dalton, who plays Abel.
“I love it. I was real nervous in the beginning, but I get to spend time with my son and the theater group is great,” Robert said. “Most every song is going to release tears in people. When they go to the first show, they’re going to want to come back again.”
Dalton, 13, has been in three other plays and said his dad is doing really well.
“It’s really fun. We get to sing some songs together, and we practice together,” Dalton said. “He’s doing really good for never doing anything like this before.”
He also said that having adults in the cast keeps the actors in line during rehearsals because their parents are there.
Sabrina Martin, 42, plays Noah’s wife, Mama. She too auditioned for the play to perform with her daughter Rebecca.
“We decided this would be a great opportunity for both my husband and me to be in a play with her,” Sabrina said. “I’m so blessed to be a part of this theater group and share this experience with her.”
Sabrina also said she was nervous about being on stage for the first time since college.
“At first I felt a little bit like I didn’t measure up to the other cast members, but their support has been amazing and giving me the strength to do it.”
Storyteller and Snake, Sydney Cotton, 13, has been in eight other plays, and said the adults are doing a great job.
“I think it’s really cool that parents tried out,” she said. “It’s fun to see how adults act differently from children.”
She also said she is enjoying playing the character who tempts Eve to eat the apple.
“The snake represents temptation,” she said. “I’ve never played a bad guy before.”
Braeden Garrett, 16, has been involved in the family theater business all of his life. He loves the idea of parents on stage with their children.
“It really spreads the wealth and gives us a new experience of acting with adults,” Braeden said. “The adults aren’t parents anymore. They’re on the same field as everybody else.”
Melody Rickettes, 16, plays Yonah, Noah’s servant on the Ark. Out of the 23 plays she’s performed in, “Children of Eden” is one of her top five favorites.
“Being a Christian in life I can connect with all my lines, and that Yonah is so connected with God is real for me,” the seasoned actress said. “She is a very gentle character, and it gives me a challenge to capture the audience with softness and kindness.”
“Children of Eden” is directed by Rich Garrett, musically directed by Brynn Garrett and choreographed by Alisa Merino.
Performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11 at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.
Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. For tickets or information call (775) 219-3577, or visit http://www.toad.vpweb.com.