History of Peace Child at 40
Child for a Day
created by Tom Powell for the UN75 Festival
I who am I
Lili Karakal, Ely Cathedral Show
Erland George, Geneva Show
State of the Planet – 2022 & 2100
Let’s Make Peace
Music & Lyrics: Pawel Sydor, 16, Poland
Introducing Peace Child
Historic Video of the 1986 US-Soviet Peace Child Tour
Grab the Wheel
Animation for UN75 Festival
WELCOME TO PEACE CHILD …
If you venture further into this website, you will enter a world where miracles happen. In over 10,000 performances, Peace Child has transformed the lives of children, youth and families in many different countries, languages and cultures. It also changed the course of history in some of those countries: starting in the UK, it went to the USA and Russia: the Cold War ended. It went to Central America: Peace broke out. It went into ex-Yugoslavia, Ireland, the Middle East, South Africa and the inner cities of the USA and elsewhere: its energy and vision of a positive future created by this generation of young people has sown powerful seeds of peace in the hearts and minds of peoples caught up in conflict and, increasingly, the struggle for survival.
WHY? – 3 x main reasons:
- Story: The story is set 50 years in the future in a world that has solved the major challenges facing humanity today. In a flashback to the present, the Peace Child Story tells what the children of today do with their working lives to create that future world. So Peace Child guarantees audiences the happiest of endings.
- Empowerment: Peace Child is all about Empowering Young People. Look at the Video below entitled: Grab the Wheel. In Peace Child, young people take charge – including of the script: we are perhaps the only script-writers in the world whose first instruction to their casts is: “Please tear up my script and write your own!” Because, though you will find a number of scripts and stories on this website to build your stories on, we want your young casts to create their own characters, their own scenes, their own dialogue and plot lines. And, like Pavel who wrote and composed Let’s Make Peace song Ipush the Peace button), write your own songs!
- Music: Much as we want young people to create their own songs, we urge you to use some of the powerful songs of David Gordon. Press the buttons on this page and listen to the gospel, classical, and multi-lingual versions of his songs – then listen to all 26 songs listed on website, and you will see why they have been the beating heart of every Peace Child show since we started 40 years ago. Adapt them, arrange them, translate them – but build on them. Because they will power your show as they have powered most of the thousands that have been produced across the world.
We have gathered a variety of historic scripts on this website – from the 20-minute Time-Travel Chat Show Cabaret suitable for School Assemblies – to the Primary School Version focussing on children ending conflict – to the Geneva Script: a full-dress Climate Change show as performed in the Grande Salle of the United Nations in Geneva. We also urge you to explore the State of the Planet Forum Theatre Peace Child show which engages the audience in helping the young cast deliver the happy ending we all seek. It starts with State of the Planet Reports (see Button below) from an Earth Situation Room – the latest Peace Child initiative we’re developing with the United Nations in New York.
We also invite you to dive into the extraordinary History of the Peace Child musical – which has seen the role of children change from being passive ‘adults-in-waiting’ to full-throated change-makers leading change on everything from the digital revolution to climate awareness.
Forty years ago, I wrote the first Peace Child show for the Royal Albert Hall show: it imagined the world in 2020 – at peace, poverty and wars a thing of the past, the environment on the mend etc. And now, here we are in the 2020s – and we’ve had Trump, Bolsonaro, Brexit, Fake News, Climate Change and, in 2022, a horrific war in Europe that threatens to go nuclear. If nothing else, this teaches we dreamers a powerful lesson in humility: every generation has gains and losses. Ours too: we ended the Cold War and Apartheid in South Africa; we reduced racism and increased the power of women and youth. But the work of peace-makers never ends: every generation will face new challenges – and the purpose of Peace Child is to open young peoples eyes to them in age-appropriate ways and encourage them to think that they can ALL be part of the solution – and they MUST if they are to fulfil their best potential.
For there are solutions – there are the right ways of doing things. They take courage, they take energy and they take leadership. Those qualities lie trapped in vast quantities in the minds of young people. Peace Child provides them with a platform to release them. That’s why it has been called the “most inspiring community musical of our generation” – “an education that no parent, no politician or prime minister can afford to miss!”
If you love children and have a talent for producing shows, – if you know the business of blocking, teaching parts, setting dances, sewing costumes – you can change the world by doing Peace Child.
At the very least, you will change yourself. I know. I did!
David R. Woollcombe, December 2022
Songs & Lyrics by David Gordon
Based on The Peace Book by Bernard Benson
Website created by David Woollcombe and David Woollcombe – Founders, Peace Child International