By Ryan Canfield
“Once on This Island” is the musical the theater department has chosen to perform. The musical was adapted by Lynn Ahrens, from the book “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy.
The musical is about one stormy evening, a young girl, home with her parents, becomes frightened, and her parents attempt to sooth the child with a story. The story is about how their family, and the island, eventually became the way it is.
“Once on This Island” has many different themes throughout, and has come to be inspired by a few real life events as well as some older stories.
“Despite having elements of both Romeo and Juliet and the Little Mermaid, parts of the musical were inspired by the Haitian slave revolts,” Harold Hynck, director for the production, said. “The main themes of the play are love, sacrifice, and the breaking down of class barriers.”
Although it has a fantasy, the musical is still grounded in reality.
“We chose this musical because it has a lot of real life relevance,” Hynck said. “In the US, we don’t think about class divisions, because we say we don’t have them. But there is a clear class division between the haves, and have nots.”
Tyrone Harris, who plays one of the storytellers in the musical, said the musical also has many story elements that will be familiar to the audience.
“There are a lot of themes the come out in the musical,” he said. “Learning to forgive and forget, dying for love, love crosses even the boundaries of death, and that love shines through.”
Devin Walker, who plays Daniel, said there was one element that rises above the others.
“I think the most important theme I found in this musical is love conquers all,” he said.
The play begins Oct. 8 and runs through the 11, the show begins at 7:30 pm at the Eckilson-Mabee Theatre, located in the Tech. Center.
The cast includes:
Terrance Mickens II
Rebeca Russi Daolio