Humanity’s Child is the most recent in thematically connected body of work by composer/playwright/psychologist Dr. John McDonnell Tierney. The “themes” that have “connected”
more than fifty years of artistic output include “Live and let live;’ “Co-Exist;” and “The Golden Rule,” to mention a few.


In his current musical, Dr. Tierney, a retired psychology professor specializing in adolescent development, draws on a deep knowledge of the science and a personal knowledge of the experience of adolescence.


Science (and experience) has revealed some universally shared attributes of adolescent that are the foundation of
Dr. Tierney’s libretto and underlying narrative in Humanity’s Child: A Hero’s Journey2020. Universal adolescent experiences highlighted in this story include:


  • Freedom vs. Security
    Adolescents desire independence and autonomy while simultaneously desiring the safety and security of childhood.
  • Belief systems
    Adolescents question previously held beliefs and assumptions.
  • Identity
    Adolescents seek to discover who they and significant others are.
  • Purpose
    Adolescents begin to define more mature goals.
  • Sociality
    Adolescents are drawn to others of like attributes and shared goals.


Experience (and science) has also revealed other attributes of the adolescence. Specifically, teens and emerging adults are not too fond of being told what to think or what to believe by people generations older.


Recognizing this, Dr. Tierney’s script does none neither. It does not “tell” audiences “what to think” about gun control, for example. At the same time, however, he does seek to fairly represent the views of many young people in the “March for Our Lives Movement” and others actively working for “sensible gun violence policies that save lives.” 


Similarly, the script does not tell young people “what to believe” as well. Rather, it celebrates the universal human experience known as “spirit;” and “The Spirit Within.”