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Temple Theaters Tells The Story Of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

A retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story, "The Little Mermaid", and adapted from a novel by the Trinidad-born novelist Rosa Guy.

Temple Theaters Tells The Story Of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Two lovers. Two worlds. One timeless story.

For its first musical of the 2022-23 season, Temple Theaters brings one of the most beloved shows in Broadway history, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, to the intimate Randall Theater. Created by Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music), ONCE ON THIS ISLAND follows the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who sets out on a journey guided by the gods, following her heart to prove love is stronger than death. A retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story, "The Little Mermaid", and adapted from a novel by the Trinidad-born novelist Rosa Guy, the musical transposes the tale to a Caribbean island setting, with a calypso-influenced score.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will be performed live and in person from October 13 to October 22, 2022, at Randall Theater, 2020 N. 13th St., Philadelphia, PA. ASL interpretation will be provided during the 7:30 pm performance on October 22. Tickets can be purchased through this ticketing link.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND presents audiences with a tempest of emotion, telling a story of class conflict and community strength that director Amina Robinson believes will resonate with her audience. Robinson, a Barrymore Award-winning director (for THE COLOR PURPLE at Theatre Horizon), points out that "In 2022, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND feels like a story of resilience." Says Robinson, "We are trying to connect to the things that bind us together as humans... to show that we can collectively rise and make our world a more loving, compassionate, and beautiful place."

While many productions of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND include an all-Black cast, Robinson revisited Rosa Guy's original text and researched the real-life island communities of the Antilles, finding that there was an opportunity to cast the show more broadly while remaining true to the ethnic diversity of the islands themselves. "Simply put, representation matters," Robinson says, "and it became clear to me that this show could present an opportunity to provide representation not only for our Black student body, but also our Asian and Latine student body. We ended up with a beautifully talented cast of folks who each bring much honor to the piece."

Philadelphia may be starting to feel an autumn chill, but ONCE ON THIS ISLAND will immerse audiences in the tropics, transforming the Randall Theater into the "Jewel of the Antilles." The production will be performed in the round, allowing audiences to experience the performance from multiple angles, but Robinson doesn't want to reveal too much. "I don't want to give it away," says Robinson, "I will say that I want to make people feel like they have been transported."

Content Note: ONCE ON THIS ISLAND's plot deals with themes of racial and class conflict. There is mild violence shown and threatened, as well as references to death and injury.

Temple University is currently hosting events in compliance with regional, city-wide and CDC guidelines, and is following the city of Philadelphia's Aug. 13, 2021 mandate requiring full vaccination at higher education institutions for all students, staff, faculty and contractors (unless specifically exempt). We encourage audience members to be masked, and recommend audiences be prepared for the possibility of mandatory masking if protocols change. Visit the university's COVID-19 Resource Hub, or check Temple Theaters' website or social media accounts for updates before attending your performance.

Production Team

Director: Amina Robinson

Music Director: Elle.Morris

Choreographer: Devon Sinclair

Scenic Designer: Mike Merluzzi

Costume Designer: Dinorah Guillen

Lighting Designer: Ana Crawford

Sound Designer: Joe Bartisti

Props Master: Amanda Hatch

Stage Manager: Sam Cashion


Ti Moune: Jasmine Villaroel

Daniel: Evan Mayorga

Tonton: Brantley Evans

Andrea: Alexandria Orr

Mama Euralie: Kerlin Pyun

Erzulie: Elyssa Thomas

Papa Ge: Jay Thien Nguyen

Asaka: Capri Hill

Agwe: Kareem Mack

Storyteller 1: Kimiko Jackson-Valle

Storyteller 2: Eliana Pinckney

Storyteller 3: Curtis Harris

Storyteller 4: Adeleke Goring

Understudies: Kennedy Brown, Shalinyah Campbell, Ben Carino, Miranda Jo DeMott, Alexis Goode, Rafi Mills, Matthu Minns, Jamie Powell, Manny Rimmer, Aaron Stanford & Keila Wong

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