a musical in seven days
Music & lyrics by Danny Paller
Based on Genesis
“A Godspell for Genesis.” –Atlanta JCC
“A dazzling show. It starts with a bang, and maintains all the energy of that original moment through the seven days of creation.” –Yale Daily News
“A celebration for the whole community.” –Cleveland JCC
Who better than children to bring creation to life?
THE CREATION was premiered by 120 schoolchildren (K-8) before a crowd of 1000 educators on opening night of the Conference for Alternatives in Jewish Education at Oberlin College. It was subsequently produced and toured by Yale Musical Theatre (cast of 5 college students and 5 local schoolchildren), and has since been performed by universities, community theaters, JCCs, schools, synagogues, churches, and camps in over 50 U.S. cities.
The play is a modern midrash, an imaginative gloss on the Biblical story. It weaves into the Creation story the most defining themes of childhood – discovery, desire, friendship and belonging, the unfolding of identity. In the musical a troupe of actors begins with a bare stage, and fills it – day after day – with an array of wonders.
The story is told mostly through music, and running time is 90 minutes, or one hour for the abridged version. The musical can be performed as ensemble theater with 10-40 actors, or in a modular fashion with different ages taking different Days . It can also be performed in an unstaged concert version. The play is in English, with a few phrases of Biblical and prayer Hebrew.
And There Was Light – 56 sec
A Light Chorus illuminates the stage with black light effects
(or candles, light sticks, bright fabrics).
Gotta Make a Wave – 1 min 16 sec
In school a mischievous Fish finishes a time-out.
The Clouds – 46 sec
Angels affix white puffs to the bodies of the youngest children
(or release a stash of white balloons into the audience).
What in the World Am I? – 1 min 3 sec
Seeds sprout from the ground in search of identity.
Video Medley – 1 min 37 sec
Five excerpts from five productions
Prologue: The Beginning Song, Let's Get the Show on the Road
Day One: V'Ruach Elohim/And There Was Light
Day Two: The Sky's the Limit, I'm in Heaven, Grey Sky Blues, The Clouds, Made Us a Sky
Day Three: What in the World Am I?, Prayer
Day Four: Shine (a spiritual trio), Winking Gavotte, Everybody Wants to Be a Star
Day Five: Tra-la-la, Gotta Make a Wave
Day Six: The Garden of Eden Ballet
Day Seven (Shabbat): Hey Look, Shabbat Shalom, Prayer (reprise)
Hey Look – 28 sec
As Day Seven dawns Creatures admire their world. A Veteran Angel gives them an assignment.
Shabbat Shalom – 1 min 39 sec
Each creature contributes something to make the Sabbath special.
The premiere of THE CREATION was performed by the Agnon School of Cleveland, Ohio and directed by Sharon Eichenbaum. It was restaged by Yale Musical Theatre, directed by Anita Stewart and starring Sandy Cash, Jim Connaughton, Melisa Hall, David Jaffe, Sue Kelly, Sarit Barzilai, Anna & Kathryn Greenberg, Daffen Apfel, Ezra Levine, Steve Laden, Peter Schwartz, Robert Negron, Matthew Turner, and Kelly Yamaguchi.