Article Title

The Book of Everything


Rebeca Wallin


Excellent, Intermediate, Young Adult, Richard Tulloch, Theater For Young Audiences, Finding Happiness, Post World War II, Amsterdam, Bible, Domestic Abuse

Document Type

Play Review


When Thomas grows up he wants to be – happy. This admirable goal does not quite seem achievable in the opening act of the play. Based on the book of the same name by Guus Kuijer, this play shows Thomas living in post WWII Amsterdam with his loving mother and domineering, violent father. The family is expected to adhere to the strict rules of their father’s Christian faith and rule breaking or mistakes are severely punished. This punishment extends to the abuse of Thomas’s mother. Despite the grim circumstances that he lives in Thomas takes comfort in his mother’s love and the wild imaginative flights of fancy he is prone to. Thomas, his mother and his older sister, aided by a friendly neighbor, are finally able to stand up to father’s bullying and create a new life for themselves that may lead to happiness. This play won the AATE (American Alliance for Theatre and Education) Distinguished Play Award for 2015.