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Youth theater performing 'Once on This Island'

• Mar 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

MANSFIELD — The Mansfield Youth Theatre (“MY Theatre”) will perform the Tony Award-winning “Once On This Island” at the Renaissance’s Theatre 166 later this month.

Performances, as a part of the Mechanics Bank Education Series, will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 21 through Saturday, March 23 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 24.

Dauphne Maloney directs the show with musical direction by Brian K. Nabors. Tickets are on sale now at the Renaissance box office, via phone and online at MansfieldTickets.com.

A free sensory-friendly performance of Once On This Island will be offered 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23 for families of individuals with special needs. Interested individuals must register for their free tickets by visiting or calling the Renaissance box office at 419-522-2726. A limited number of tickets is available for the sensory-friendly performance and no walk-ups will be accommodated.

Once On This Island is a highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. The story is the beautiful and poignant tale of a peasant girl on a tropical island, who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes.

Ti Moune, a peasant girl, rescues a wealthy boy, with whom she falls in love, from the other side of the island. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over the strength of love. When Ti Moune pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, she is shunned because of her lowly status. Her determination and capacity to love is not enough to win Daniel's heart, and Ti Moune pays the ultimate price. The gods turn Ti Moune into a beautiful tree that grows so strong and tall, it breaks the wall that separates the societies and ultimately unites them.

With a magical and energetic score, which includes such songs as, “We Dance,” and “Mama Will Provide,” the show embodies a strong, emotional story which delivers a universal message to young and old alike.

Written by the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, “Once on This Island” is based upon the 1985 novel “My Love, My Love;” or “The Peasant Girl” by Rosa Guy, and is set in the French Antilles. The show includes elements of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Little Mermaid, as well as those from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The cast is composed of more than 20 students ages 8 through 18 from the following schools: Clearfork, Crestview, Lexington, Lucas, Mansfield, Mansfield Christian, Ontario, Pioneer CTC Performing Arts, Richland School of Academic Arts, Shelby, Willard and Wynford.

The cast is led by NyKera Gardner and Naomi Schag as Ti Moune, with Christian Shepherd performing in the role of Daniel. The Island Gods will be played by: ESaeLynn Cameron, Justice Gardner, Kristin Kaufman, and McKenna Stoffer. The roles of Ti Moune’s adoptive parents will be portrayed by Lilly Casey, Naomi Schag and Austin Michel; with Lilly McCready and Zakori Ramos playing Little Girl and Little Boy, respectively. The cast also includes: Zavier Alterio, Padraig Browning, Gavin Hull, Cassandra Kurek, Addie Lamb, Lysandra Owens, Brenda Rose, Katlyn Shrewsberry and Carter Underwood

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