Thursday's Children
an original musical
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What is Thursday's Children?

Thursday's Children is an original, two-act musical created by Brian R. Lynner and Lisa Norris-Lynner. The story is inspired by the events of the 1965 black ramband protest that lead to the landmark civil rights case of Tinker v. the Des Moines Independent Community School District.


SCHOOL MATINEES (Grades 5-12): October 19-22, 2010 SOLD OUT!!!

PUBLIC PERFORMANCES:  October 23, 28, 29, 30 and November 6,2010 at 7:30 p.m.
October 24, 31 and November 7 at 2:00 p.m. 

LOCATION: The Iowa Public Theatre in the State Historical Museum


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Who Are Thursday's Children?

In December of 1965 a group of students in Des Moines, Iowa devised a plan to wear black armbands to school to protest America's involvement in Vietnam. Fearing that the protest might lead to disruption and violence, school officials announced that anyone caught wearing an armband would be asked to remove it or be suspended.  For more on the history behind the story of Thursday's Children, click here.

Thursday's Children explores how the choices we make in our youth shape the people we become.  In our story, "Thursday's Children" are four (fictional) high school students.  Act One takes place in 1965 in the days leading to the armband protest and follows the students as they consider how wearing the armband may affect their friendships, families, and futures.  Act Two shows us that future, visiting the characters (and their children) 25 years later, at the beginning of the First Gulf War.

The title for the show comes from the old Mother Goose rhyme that begins, "Monday's child is fair of face..." Thursday's Child, according to the rhyme, "has far to go."  For more about the story of the musical Thursday's Children, click here.

When Can I See a Performance of Thursday's Children?

At present there are no productions of the show scheduled.  Please watch this space for future developments/

Public Educational Programs

The State Historical Society of Iowa and its partners created a number of educational activities to accompany the premeire production of  Thursday’s Children.  These included:

“Tinkering with History: 1960s Students, Schools and Protest”: Join State Historical Librarian Susan Jellinger and a panel of civil rights and peace activists for a discussion of student protest in Iowa during the 1960s and its impact on our history.

Pre-show Panel Discussion about the history and impact of the armband protest and the Tinker case, with a panel including Mary Beth Tinker, Dan Johnston (the attorney who argued the case on behalf of the Tinkers), and a Vietnam veteran, a peace activist, and members of the legal community.

 Post-show Meet the Composer Discussion with Thursday’s Children author/composers Brian R. Lynner and Lisa Norris-Lynner.  The Lynners will describe their process for creating the show and answer audience questions about the production.

Dressing Up or Dressing Down:  A forum on school dress codes and freedom of expression through fashion.  Join in a discussion of how the Tinker case helped changed the way students dress in school today, and share your opinions of how dress codes impact school culture.  The event will include a structured debate of the dress code issue by members of the Roosevelt High School Debate Team and a performance of  a musical selection from Thursday’s Children.

 Pre-show Panel Discussion of the legal issues surrounding the Tinker case and its legacy with a panel of Iowa lawyers and judges. 

Lunch 'n' Learn Presentation on The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien's collection of VIetnam War stories, augmented with a display of war diaries and photographs.

 ‘60s Halloween Eve at Thursday’s Children:  After the show, audience members could attend a 1960s-style “Sock Hop” hosted by Gateway Dance Theatre at their studio at 315 East 5th Street (about 2 blocks away from the Historical Building.)  Sock Hop participants will have the opportunity to learn dances from the 1960s and meet and mingle with cast and crew members from the Thursday’s Children company.  

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