On developping original ideas with youngsters


To be a Flower, is profound
Responsibility --

-Emily Dickinson

Future. An abbey stands between the rubbles of a harsh world. Within the abbey lives a group of women. They call themselves and each other ‘sisters’. No man is allowed on the premises. The sisters tend to a garden they’ve named Eden. It is protected by a wall that stretches over the horizon. It is covered by a high ceiling screen on which a deep, dark blue morning sky is projected. 

COMPUTER (in soft female voice):

Terminating... hibernum.

Initiating… vernus program. 

Sounds of lights and devices turning on, a soft wind being blown through turbines.


Temperature: 10 degrees celcius and rising. Humidity: 70%.

Time: 0700 AM. 

Commencing rain in T minus 30 minutes.

Sounds of a garden waking up.


Access granted.

An electric door opens. A group of young sisters enters, led by three elders.


Come in young sisters, you are allowed.

The garden welcomes you.

It seems calm on the surface, but it is already so full of life. 


The winter program has run its course. The first day of spring is upon us.  

Soon we’ll see the sun rising over the horizon, sharing its light and warmth with Eden. 

With us.

We have brought you here because, in many ways, the garden is like us. By understanding her, we understand ourselves. Because you, too, are close to your first day of spring.

And you, like the garden, will need our knowledge and guidance to thrive.

A time of vibrancy and fertility is upon you. Nature will awaken out of it’s 

slumber, will awaken a new part of you. Both you and the garden will have the power to produce life. 

We gave each of you a berry, that the garden provided for us last year.

Everything had to be just right for this fruit to become. 

The perfect conditions to grow. 

A little time. 

A little care.

A lot of patience.

Try them, you can have it. It is there to be eaten. 

The berry would not have been sweet if we were not supposed to eat it.

Eden is generous, she provides us with what we need to survive.

It is natural to grow, to flourish, to bear fruit. 

The garden is like us in many ways.

It sleeps, slumbers. It is full of potential. 

And at exactly the right moment, that potential is harvested.

Look at her. 

How she stands tall, strong and resilient. 

Her head proudly turned to the sky, her feet rooted in mud and soil. 

She is a pool of power and everything takes part in that pool. 

She shares, distributes her wealth equally and fairly among her children.

Some people do not like powerful things because it makes them feel small.

We are not small, sisters.

Never be small.

Share your power, but never give it away.

The garden is like us in many ways. 

We grow, we bloom, we bear fruit. 

Do you see sisters?

Eden lives and Eden gives life.

Let’s dig through the ground for a moment. Here, we see and smell the death of parts of Eden. What you hold in your hands was young once, it carried its weight, played its part and now it’s mixed with the soil. Soon, fig trees and flowers and peaches will live off the rot and dirt. Eden is old and parts of her must die. But she cannot be dirty, she cannot be ugly because she is everything.

The garden is like us in many ways. 

And you will all be blooming soon, sisters. 

What slumbers in your bodies shall awaken and your potential will show. 

You will grow and bear fruit, sisters.

But like the garden, the older sisters will have to guide you, protect you.

A garden is not wild. It is walled off, to protect it from dangerous forces from outside. 

To keep it pure. 

Paradise is perfect and Paradise is a garden. 

Perfection, therefore, cannot be wild but must be guided, protected, purified. 

Perfection needs limitation.

We are like the garden in many ways. 

We are constantly pressured by external forces chipping away at our walls. Our delicate balance is threatened by invasive species. 

By that which is not part of us, by those who are not sisters. 

Remember this, young sisters: nature is not neutral. It favors the strong because nature itself is cruel. It does not go easy, it does not wait and it does not look back. That is why we must control nature, turn it into a garden, guide it so it can thrive. 

You will soon bloom, sisters. 

And to be a flower is a profound responsibility. 

Nature will present you with a challenge and it is up to you to limit it, to wall of your garden to the probing outsiders that want to invade it. 

You must be kept pure, contained and protected from parasites and predators. 

You have to oppose the worm, elude the wind, obtain the right of dew. 

This all may sound as though something is forbidden but understand us well: we provide you with a freedom of choice. 

Outside of Eden you will not find freedom, no choice. 

Only the cruel tyranny of nature.

The walled garden is not a prison, but a home, a church.

It is Eden.

You are Eden.


Temperature: 14 degrees celcius and rising. Humidity: 80%.

Commencing rain in T minus 2 minutes.

Sound of thunder in the distance.

Radio play The Garden

is an international co-production of three young people led by writer Ischa den Blanken and then director Bor Ravbar. It is the result of an intensive creative collaboration within FUN! Festivals combined with the individual tasks that the participants received from their mentors during the process. The premiere took place on 11 November 2023 at the Plesni Theater in Ljubljana. 

Creators and actors

Live performance of the audioplay

Read the script along with the audioplay.