Each year, the Iowa State Historical Museum's History Through The Arts program contracts an Iowa performing arts company to create and/or present a production based on an important civil rights event in Iowa history. When Maureen Korte, the Program Director, mentioned that she was looking for a play based on events surrounding the landmark civil rights case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Unexpected Company's founding partners and creative collaborators Brian R. Lynner and Lisa Norris-Lynner jumped at the chance to create a show. For Lynner, the interest in the topic was very personal - he was a sophomore at Roosevelt High School in 1965 and has vivid memories of the black armband protest that sparked the Tinker case.
Traditionally, History Through The Arts productions run less than one hour, to allow time for the students attending the performances to participate in fine arts and humanities workshops during their visit to the museum. The Lynners had a larger vision. They proposed
a concept for a show that could both serve Ms. Korte’s program and allow for the creation of an artistically satisfying, significant new work that would fill a complete evening of theatre. Rather than adapting the Tinker story as a straight historical “docu-drama”, their idea was to create an original, full-length musical surrounding the events of the protest incident, but involving fictional characters. The show was structured so that Act One could be presented as a one hour, stand-alone performance for students. The complete production could be presented to a general audience, helping to expand the History Through The Arts program beyond the classroom to a larger, multi-generational audience. Thanks to grant funding from the Iowa Arts Council that is helping to support the project in its creation process, Thursday's Children is a reality.
For information on the cast of Thursday's Children and descriptions of the characters, click here.
For information on the authors and members of the production team, click here.