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West Jordan Journal

‘Children of Eden’ brings color, energy to familiar stories

Nov 09, 2021 12:51PM ● By Jet Burnham

Savannah Navarro, as Mama Noah, rehearses her solo for a rousing ensemble number in “Children of Eden.” (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

West Jordan High presents “Children of Eden” on Nov. 11, 12, 13 and 15 at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at

West Jordan High theater teacher Tony Akin is thrilled to present the musical, one of his favorites, with an impressive cast chosen from the WJHS talent pool.

The play is loosely based on the Biblical stories of Adam and Eve in the first act, and Noah and his family in the second act. The music, written by Steven Schwartz (he also wrote the music for “Wicked”), ranges from gospel choir to Broadway pop.

There are a number of high-energy scenes, some of which showcase the choreography of sophomore Emma Haws. Haws said she has enjoyed sharing her passion for dance with her peers. The experience has also stretched her skills, such as when she choreographed a 10-foot snake into a small group dance number. With the second act focusing on Noah (and his ark), there is a large amount of puppetry in the play. 

Senior Kaiden Allen plays the role of Adam in this his first theatrical production since elementary school. He plays opposite of Annie Hancock, who plays Eve, and who has been in 30 other plays. Because of her experience and her personality, in addition to her role as the mother of all people, Hancock has felt a responsibility to take care of all the other cast members.

“I'm excited to provide the example and support that the seniors did my sophomore year,” she said. “I'm excited to provide that shelter and support to everyone who's looking up to me, because I'm in a very visible spot, and so I like to make myself as welcoming as possible.”

There are 54 members of the cast, including WJHS choir teacher Keith Evans. Akin opted to cast an adult in the role of Father to emphasize the gap in maturity between him and his children.