Once On This Island is about Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, and falls in love. The pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet on which is stronger, love or death, with the stakes being Ti Moune’s life. When she pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, she is shunned because of her lowly status. Since her determination and capacity to love is not enough to win Daniel’s heart, Ti Moune pays the ultimate price. The gods turn Ti Moune into a tree, but it grows so strong and tall that it breaks the wall that separates the societies and unites them.
Thirty students will help put on the musical, with a majority on stage and several others helping to operate lights, sounds, spotlights and move scenery.
Music directors Emily Fowler and David Kravets also reached out to Roosevelt Middle School students to get them involved in the musical as an opportunity to start building up the music and theater programs at the high school. There will be several seventh- through 12th-graders who will be represented on stage in the show.
“The turnout has been great this first year and the response is positive ... It’s been a great learning experience and quite a sight to behold on stage,” Horst said.
The other three productions the school has put on this year include: Sticky Note, a student-written musical followed by audience-participation comedy; Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and the Ancient Greek tragedy Antigone.
Tickets for the musical are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. They can be purchased online on the John Legend Theater website.