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a new musical


Music & Lyrics Adaptation by Louis Rosen

Co-Libretto by LR, Arthur Perlman & Charlotte Maier

based on writings by Robert Louis Stevenson


Premiere: Melting Pot Theater, Off-Broadway, December 2000, directed by Lori Steinberg, choreographed by Robert La Fosse


for 2000 - NY Post

"A beloved children’s author has had one of his early works adapted to the musical stage — and it proves a magical, powerful, subtle work about nature and dreaming and pain.… The music...is evocative in its expression of Stevenson’s and young Stevenson’s longings. ‘A Child’s Garden’ shows the essentials—imagination, creativity, a wise feel for life." NY Post 

“Louis Rosen’s score is charming, tender and homespun… Its bright, old-fashioned melodies serve the verse. … boyhood scenes are brought to life with taste and grace.”  Time Out NY

“A Child’s Garden is a delightful musical romp..." The Brooklyn Paper


A CHILD’S GARDEN is a work of fiction inspired by autobiographical writings of Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson at age thirty is our main character. All the works for which he is well known, including "Treasure Island," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Kidnapped" and "A Child’s Garden of Verses" are still to be written. The libretto takes its inspiration from various essays and letters written by Stevenson, while the song lyrics are drawn or adapted from his many autobiographical poems.



LOUIS, Stevenson as a boy, age 11

WILLIE, Louis’s cousin, age 12

MARY JANE, Louis’s eldest cousin, age 12

ANNIE, Mary Jane’s sister, age 10

 (The roles of Mary Jane, Willie, Louis and Annie are intended to be played by actors ranging in age from late teens to mid-twenties, the main requirement being that the combination of the actors’ talents and looks, along with a simple performance style absent all overt child-like affectation, allow for the audience to suspend its disbelief and enter the world of the piece.)


 READ the press highlights



Sing Me a Song  -  The Swing  -  Good and Bad Children  -  Foreign Lands/Travel  -  Home Is Home Here  -  Pirate Story  -   My Shadow  -  The Wind  -  Keepsake Mill   

The House Beautiful  -  Autumn Fires  -  Quintet: Land of Counterpane/Land of Story Books/Requiem 

Escape At Bedtime  -  A Stormy Night Approaches  -  Shadow March  -  Windy Nights    The Sick Child  -  Marching Song  -  To My Cousins/To Louis  -  Block City  -  To Any Reader


Cut from final version: Where Go the Boats?  -  My Kingdom  -  Good Night  -  In Port  -  Armies in the Fire


Please contact Louis directly via this website if you're interested in hearing  a recording of the songs from "A CHILD'S GARDEN."