Prospect Theater Project
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
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
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 How do we keep our lives relevant when we are no longer active contributors to the workplace (even those of us who are not nuclear physicists)?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:
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)
Steppenwolf (Chicago) April 2019
Studio Theater (Wash DC) May 2019
Aurora Theater (Berkeley) Jan 2020
Speakeasy Stage (Boston) Feb 2020
Fountain Theater (Los Angeles) Nov 2021
Hype for Prospect’s show!
New York Times interview with Lucy Kirkwood
Stagebuddy interview with Lucy Kirkwood
Context: Elders help with cleanup at Fukushima, New York Times