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ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Receives Extraordinary Excellence In Diversity On Broadway Award

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ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Receives Extraordinary Excellence In Diversity On Broadway Award

Actors' Equity Association has announced that Once On This Island will receive the eleventh annual Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award for the 2017-2018 season. Presented by Equity's National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, the Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award honors shows that exemplify and promote the union's founding principles of diversity, inclusion, non-traditional casting and equal opportunity for all who work in the theatre.

The award is scheduled to be presented to representatives from the show at a ceremony on August 8 at Equity's New York office.

"We are thrilled to honor the Broadway production of Once On This Island with this year's Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award in recognition of their diverse and inclusive multi-cultural and gender fluid casting and the many other ways in which the archetypes of the original production were broken," said Christine Toy Johnson, Chair of the Equity's National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee.

Past recipients of the Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award are the productions of 110 in the Shade and Les Misérables (2007), Billy Elliott (2009), American Idiot (2010), The Merchant of Venice (2011), A Streetcar Named Desire (2012), Cinderella and The Trip to Bountiful (2013), If/Then (2014), It Shoulda Been You (2015), Hamilton, Spring Awakening and Waitress (2016) and A Doll's House, Part 2, Come From Away and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2017).

Once On This Island is the winner of a 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. It opened on December 3 at Circle in the Square Theatre.

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Chita Rivera Award nominee Camille A. Brown.

The cast features Darlesia Cearcy (Erzulie), Alex Newell (Asaka), Merle Dandridge(Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe), Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl), and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel "My Love, My Love" by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Actors' Equity Association, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its Members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org

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