Prospect Theater Project

Artist Lab


Page to Stage

Looking to enhance your playgoing experience?

Want to learn more about the plays we’ll see this season?

Read the play & join a discussion!

Scott Davis and Shannon Stevens




Page to Stage: The Children

The first play PTP brings us this season, once marked for its “uncanny interweaving of banality and atrocity,” has much to offer our Page to Stage group. As you read the play, please feel free to consider the resources provided here as possible fuel for our discussion on Sunday, Sept. 18.

 To purchase tickets for The Children: CLICK HERE

Lucy Kirkwood, The Children (2016) TCG/Nick Hern Books

The Children (play) – Wikipedia

Lucy Kirkwood – Wikipedia

Kirkwood (b 1983) London, college Edinburgh, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Children commissioned by Royal Court Theater

Opened London Nov 2016 (Through Jan 2017), Royal Court Theater

Dir: James McDonald

Robin: Rob Cook

Hazel: Deborah Findley

Rose: Francesca Annis

Focused Reading

Following are some ideas/questions about themes as well as resources for more information, presented here for consideration as we prepare for our discussion and to attend the play. As we read, let’s all make note of other themes that surface as well as questions we would like to address. As usual, PTP has provided us with a rich text, one bound to reach all of us in different ways. 

Aging: What does it mean to age in a time of climate crisis? Or any time? How do we keep our lives relevant when we are no longer active contributors to the workplace (even those of us who are not nuclear physicists)?

Duty: Is the English idea of duty a particularly driving force in this work? Does it explain some of the decisions of the characters?

Power: A hefty concept, here explore both in its physical sense (how we generate power in the world) and social (how we relate to one another based on access to resources).

Absurdity: There is a current of messiness present in the work–both in the world and in the relationships. How do we expect that to feel on stage? What does it do for us as we read? Is it funny? Tragic? All that?

Legacy: What will we be leaving the next generation(s?) of humanity? How deliberate can/should we be?

Time: Such a complicated concept. How does the past contribute to the now of these characters, and how does their understanding of the future influence their actions?

Apocalypse: Fear of the end of the world is omnipresent as it ebbs and flows through our fictions, our religious texts, and the white papers of our scientific community. What does this play bring to the conversation?

Womanhood: We don’t often have the opportunity to see one, let alone two, complex female characters explored on stage. What is it in this text that gives Rose and Hazel such depth as women?

Children: And finally, who are the children?

Links to explore

Royal Court Theater production:

First look: Lucy Kirkwood, Ron Cook and cast rehearse The Children | WhatsOnStage

Lucy Kirkwood’s “The Children” – The Environmental Disaster and Ethics – The Theatre Times

Same production, same cast transferred to Broadway Dec 2017 Friedman Theater

Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Play (nom)

Tony award Best Play (nom)

Tony Award Best Actress Featured Role (nom Deborah Findlay)

The Children (Broadway, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 2017) | Playbill

The Children – Samuel J. Friedman Theatre – Lucy Kirkwood

Review: The Children at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre – Exeunt Magazine NYC

The Children | Theatre & Sustainability

Other productions

Steppenwolf (Chicago) April 2019

The Children | Steppenwolf Theatre

A Tragicomic Reckoning With the Past, Present and Future in ‘The Children’ | Chicago News | WTTW

Studio Theater (Wash DC) May 2019

Lucy Kirkwood’s ‘The Children’ examines a nuclear disaster like Fukushima — but with a surprising twist – The Washington Post

Aurora Theater (Berkeley) Jan 2020

The Children

Speakeasy Stage (Boston) Feb 2020

Review: The apocalypse has arrived in Lucy Kirkwood’s gripping ‘The Children’ – Los Angeles Times

Fountain Theater (Los Angeles) Nov 2021

The Children — The Fountain Theatre

Review: The apocalypse has arrived in Lucy Kirkwood’s gripping ‘The Children’ – Los Angeles Times

Hype for Prospect’s show!

PerformingView – Are You The Star? : Modestoview

New York Times interview with Lucy Kirkwood

Don’t Despair, Protest: Playwright Lucy Kirkwood Sees No Other Choice – The New York Times

Stagebuddy interview with Lucy Kirkwood

Interview: Lucy Kirkwood on the Inspiration for Her Riveting Play ‘The Children’ |

Context: Elders help with cleanup at Fukushima, New York Times

Elders Offer Help at Japan’s Crippled Reactor