Olney Theatre Presents Once on this Island (Video)
Olney Theatre Center presents the musical Once on this Island April 9 through May 4 on the Mainstage. From the Tony Award©-winning creators of Ragtime and Seussical comes this Caribbean-infused family musical of enormous heart and magical wisdom. Once on this Island follows the story’s young heroine, Ti Moune, on her quest to prove love is more powerful than the forces of prejudice, hatred and death. Full of capricious gods, island magic, and joyous dance numbers, Olney’s production is directed by Alan Muraoka, proprietor of Sesame Street’s Hooper’s Store since 1997.
“Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty are America’s most talented, versatile musical theater team, and what they’ve done with this simple story is magic from start to finish,” says Olney Theatre Center Artistic Director Jason Loewith. “Add to that Alan Muraoka’s heartfelt direction, Helen Huang’s fantastical costumes and Milagros Ponce de León’s extraordinary set and you’ve got 90 minutes of world-class entertainment for audiences of every age.”
Hear some of the sounds of Once on this Island by Olney Theatre Center:
The cast of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is led by Olney Theatre Center newcomer Aisha Jackson as Ti Moune. Ms. Jackson recently appeared in American Repertory Theater’s production of WITNESS UGANDA. Eymard Cabling, Lun Tha in last season’s hit production of THE KING AND I, returns as Ti Moune’s love interest Daniel.
Sharing the role of young Ti Moune are Baltimore native Ariel Cunningham and Silver Spring native Shelby Renée Fountain. ONCE ON THIS ISLAND marks both girls’ debut at Olney Theatre Center.
Playing the island gods are Theresa Cunningham as Asaka, Fahnlohnee Harris-Tate as Erzulie, Broadway veteran James T. Lane as Papa Ge, and Nicholas Ward as Agwe. Rounding out the cast are Kellee Knighten Hough, Wendell Jordan, David Little, Duyen Washington, and Stephen Scott Wormley.
Director Alan Muraoka partners with Music Director Darius Smith (Signature’s Dreamgirls, Adventure Theatre-MTC Three Little Birds) and Choreographer Darren Lee to bring Ahrens and Flaherty’s story to life on the Olney stage. Rounding out the design team are Scenic Designer Milagros Ponce De León, Costume Designer Helen Huang, Lighting Designer Marc Hurst, and Sound Designer Jeffrey Dorfman.
Tickets start at $31 and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 301.924.3400 or online at Olney Theatre website. The theater is located at 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Olney.
Book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Music by Stephen Flaherty. Base on “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy.
Directed by Alan Muraoka. Choreography by Darren Lee. Music direction by Darius Smith.
Daniel – Eymard Cabling
Little Ti Moune – Ariel Cunningham
Asaka, Mother of the Earth – Theresa Cunningham
Little Ti Moune – Shelby Renee
Arzulie, Goddess of Love – Fahnlohnee Harris-Tate
Andriea, Madame Armand – Kellee Knighten Hough
Ti Moune – Aisha Jackson
Tonton Julian – Wendell Jordan
Papa Ge, Demon of Death – James T. Lane
Agwe, God of Water – Nicholas Ward
Mama Euralie – Duyen Washington
Armand – Stephen Scott Wormley
Swing – Jessica M. Johnson
Swing – David Little
Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Photos by Sonie Mathew courtesy Olney Theatre Center