Duke Players musical opens October 21

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Duke Players presents their first musical production ever this semester with Once On This Island  opening Saturday, October 21. It's a first in other ways too, with director Sophie Caplin's choice to keep the traditional all-black casting for the show.  The Duke Chronicle highlights this in their recent article which includes interviews with the cast members who come from all areas of study at Duke. The Duke Players Facebook site has been running bio spotlights on cast members such as Thandolwethu Mamba, a sophomore from Mbabane, Swaziland, who plays the water god Agwe in the show. Thando is a Biology major (with minors in Music and Spanish) who just happens to have a gorgeous singing voice.

The driving force making this show happen, Sophie Caplin is not only the president of Duke Players, she is a one-person production team, creating the look of the show, thrift-shopping for costumes and working as her own stage manager while directing the cast members.  Making a virtue of necessity, as The Chronicle put it, "The 'bare boards and passion' set design emphasizes the communal nature of storytelling and brings it to the forefront of the performance." The talented and hard-working cast is also supported by Meredyth Albright on lighting design and Duke Players publicity chair Evan Nicole Bell has been making everybody shine with her photography.  The show runs Oct. 21-22 and 27-29 in Brody Theater in the Branson building on East campus.  For cast head shots and more information, please visit the production page here.  (All photos by Evan Nicole Bell)