SESAME STREET's Alan Muraoka to Direct Olney Theatre Center's ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, Running 4/9-5/4

SESAME STREET's Alan Muraoka to Direct Olney Theatre Center's ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, Running 4/9-5/4

Olney Theatre Center, a Maryland destination for professional theater performance and education, continues its critically-acclaimed 76th Anniversary season with the family musical Once On This Island April 9 - May 4, 2014 on the Mainstage.

From the Tony Award-winning creators of RAGTIME and SEUSSICAL comes a glorious, Caribbean-infused family musical of enormous heart and magical wisdom. In almost non-stop song and dance, 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."

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.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND runs April 9 - May 4. Press Night: Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 7:00pm. Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:00pm; matinees on Sunday at 1:30pm; Saturday matinees at 1:30pm on April 19 and 26, and May 3; and, Wednesday matinees at 1:30pm on April 16, 23, and 30. Tickets are $32.50-$65. Discounts available for groups, seniors, military, and students.

ABOUT OLNEY THEATRE CENTER Olney Theatre Center is an award-winning, nonprofit, Equity theatre. Located just north of Washington, D.C. in arts-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Olney Theatre Center offers a diverse array of professional productions year-round. Olney Theatre Center is situated on 14 acres in the heart of the beautiful Washington-Baltimore-Frederick "triangle," within easy access of all three cities. Olney Theatre Center is home to the National Players, America's longest-running touring company and led by Artistic Director Jason Loewith and Managing Director Amy Marshall. For more information, visit www.olneytheatre.org. Follow Olney Theatre Center on Twitter @olneytheatre or twitter.com/olneytheatre and on Facebook at facebook.com/olneytheatre.

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