Once on This Island: Up Close and Personal

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By Maddie Naeve

Walking into the auditorium on September 14 and 15, the audience rows were empty. Row after row seat after seat, and as your eyes looked up to the stage the audience was brought to light. Only 60 tickets were available for each performance, and the seats were located on stage surrounding the performers.

The musical “Once on This Island” was performed in a thrust stage setting, a thrust stage is a stage in which the audience sits on three sides of the performers. Because the performance is in such a tight area the actors have to adjust their acting techniques.

“It’s harder in a sense because being on stage you know that every movement is seen by the audience, but that also makes it easier because the audience can focus on specific people and see the characters’ facial expressions easier,” said senior Quinnie Rodman who portrays Papa Ge (the god of death).

The musical is centered around a young girl named Ty Moune, played by senior Alina Merlak, who is washed up on an island and found by an elderly couple. Ty Moune falls in love with a boy from the rich part of the island and her decisions to pursue him are being chosen by the gods. “The story line is cool because it is told like a story book, and we begin in a circle and Maddy Steen starts reading the book,” said Merlak.

The musical sold out all three of their performances and pulled together a beautiful musical about island gods and legends.

Senior Alina Merlak dances to a song during Dress Rehearsal for Once on This Island. Photo by Maddie Naeve.