Once On This Island

Once On This Island
Fall, 2017
Written By: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Directed By: Sophie Caplin

From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Seussical, Ragtime), comes the Olivier Award-winning Once on This Island. This highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, garnered eight Tony nominations for its Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score. Senior Sophie Caplin directs a cast including members of Duke's newly formed Amandla Chorus with choreography by Dance program professor Ava Vinesett.  Alum William Harris is the music director for the pit orchestra that includes special guest artist Bashir Shakur on percussion.  The department is grateful to the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, whose funding for guest artists made it possible to bring in Mr. Shakur.

Ti Moune, a peasant girl, rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the voodoo gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune's life. When she pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, Ti Moune is shunned because of her lowly status. Her determination and capacity to love, though, is not enough to win Daniel's heart, and Ti Moune pays the ultimate price; but the gods turn Ti Moune into a tree that grows so strong and so tall, it breaks the wall that separates the societies and ultimately unites them.

PRODUCTION DATES: October 21-22 and 27-29 in Brody Theater, free admission!


Dorothy Alexis - Storyteller

Zhuri Bryant - Andrea Devereaux

Zwelakhe "Shakes" Dlamini - Papa Ge

Savi Eliott - Daniel Beauxhomme

Lulla Kiwinda - Erzulie

Alexis Malone - Storyteller

Thandolwethu Mamba - Agwe/Tonton Julien

Eric Mungai - Armand/Beaxhomme/Gatekeeper 

Paschalia Nsato - Little Girl/Young Ti Moune

Anwuli Okonjo - Mama Euralie

Casey Pettiford - Ti Moune

Eritrea Temesghen - Asaka