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Eastern Presents "Once On This Island"

Written by Nana OwusuAgyemang

once on an island logo OOTI Logo (2).jpg Willimantic, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University Theatre program will present the mystical musical "Once On This Island" on April18-21 and April 23-24 in the Harry Hope Theatre in Shafer Hall.
The musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on April18-20 and April 23-24, with a 4 p.m. matinée on April 21. The public is invited. Admission is $5 for students and groups of 10 or more; $10 for Eastern faculty, staff and senior citizens; and $12 for the general public. Shafer Hall is located at the corner of High and Valley Streets in Willimantic.



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              Amanda Conkey and Daniel Fernandez performing in "Once on this Island"

Directed by lecturer Alycia Bright-Holland and supervised by Theatre Professor David Pellegrini, "Once On This Island" is a story of hope, struggle and rebirth, a musical with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty. It is a lyrical love story of two island people brought together and torn apart by fortune and fate.
Based on the novel "My Love, My Love," by Rosa Guy, "Once On This Island" was first produced in 1990 at Playwrights Horizons in Manhattan; it then moved to Broadway's Booth Theatre for a run of nearly 500 performances. It has been a popular musical since, and has had its most recent professional revival at the Paper Mill Playhouse, directed by Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail. New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote, a "Caribbean fairy tale told in rousing song and dance, this show is a joyous marriage of the slick and the folkloric, of the hard-nosed sophistication of Broadway musical theater and the indigenous culture of a tropical isle."

 Incorporating unique West African dance forms, director/choreographer Bright-Holland works with co-musical directors Jan Jungden and Mark Makipuro to bring this timeless tale of the prince and the pauper to life through the pulsating beat of the Calypso-based score. Set designer Kristen Morgan's immersive island atmosphere is complimented by the artwork of Art Professor Imna Arroyo, who dresses the set. Connecticut-based costume designer Anya Sokolovskaya designed the costumes for the production, and Eastern's Music and Voice Professor Emily Riggs contributes as vocal coach, assisting in bringing a powerful Patois voice to the play.

Tickets may be reserved by calling the Harry Hope Theatre box office at (860) 465-5123.
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