Thursday’s Children is an original musical created by Brian R. Lynner and Lisa Norris-Lynner. The story is inspired by the 1965 “black armband protest” and events leading to the landmark civil rights case of Tinker v. the Des Moines Independent Community School District.
In December of 1965 a group of Des Moines area students devised a plan to wear black armbands to school to protest America’s escalating 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. Brian Lynner was a student at Roosevelt High School – the center of the protest – and has vivid memories of the event.
Rather than adapting the Tinker story as a straight historical “docu-drama”, the Lynners developed an original, full-length musical surrounding the events of the protest incident, but involving fictional characters. The show is structured so that Act One could be presented as a one hour, stand-alone assembly length performance for students during the school day. The complete production was presented in the evenings and on weekends, helping to expand the reach of the production to a larger, multi-generational audience.