In its first-ever collaboration with a professional theater company, Eastern Nazarene College will present the Tony Award-nominated Once on This Island as its fall musical, the Christian liberal arts college announced today.
Created by the award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Seussical: The Musical), the Calypso-infused musical will be presented in collaboration with Our Place Theatre Project and co-directed by ENC Theatre Professor Eunice Ferreira and acclaimed Boston director Jacqui Parker.
“As the founding artistic director of Our Place Theatre Project and Boston’s annual African American Theatre Festival, Jacqui Parker is a true star in the Boston theatre community,” Ferreira said. “Eastern Nazarene’s collaboration with her offers our students a tremendous opportunity to combine music, dance and theater in a professional-quality theater production.”
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and the Rosa Guy novel, My Love, My Love, Once on This Island tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her French Caribbean island. When Daniel returns to his people, Ti Moune embarks on a quest that will test the strength of her love against powerful forces of hatred and prejudice.
In addition to ENC college students and Boston child actors, the diverse cast features IRNE Award-nominated actresses Dee Crawford and Marvelyn McFarlane, an Eastern Nazarene alumna. The cast also includes Eboni Baptiste, Fred Galloway, Kevin Silva and Leeta White. Chauncey McGlathery serves as music director, with choreography by Eboni Baptiste, costumes designed by Susie Smith and set and lighting design by Michael W. Ballard.
To be presented at Eastern Nazarene’s Cove Performing Arts Center, Once on This Island will premiere Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances Saturday Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday Oct. 22-24 at 7:30 p.m. A special benefit performance for Our Place Theatre Project will be held Sunday Oct. 18 at 4 p.m.; school matinee performances are also available. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 students and are available by calling the box office at 617-745-3715.