Once On This Island
Posted 03/08/2018 02:31PM

Middle School Musical Lights up the Stage

By Chelsie Lloyd, director, Middle School Theater Arts

The winter 2018 musical production in the Middle School brought 24 performers and 16 tech students together to work on the annual show. The colorful show 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 the island. The fantastical gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest that tests the strength of love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred, and even death.

The show is the first production Ms. Lloyd directed for Bullis as Middle School Theater Arts teacher. She worked with choreographer Noel Montague and Anthony Brooks, technical theater teacher to guide the students.

I chose Once on This Island just four weeks shy of Broadway announcing the revival of the show on the Great White Way. It was exciting to think that this show not only has a place at Bullis in our community but in a much larger community in New York City, where people all over the world travel to see performances. But why tell this particular story?

Storytelling is the human race's first art form, and today it continues to bring people together from all backgrounds and walks of life. Theater has the power to heal through storytelling and Once on This Island is about a community that comes together in the face of something life-shattering and finds hope to carry on.

In our current society, so many of us are looking for ways to bridge the gap, understand our neighbor and work together to build a beautiful, new, diverse world. Once on This Island does just that. By bridging the lives of the hard-working peasants and the wealthy Grand Hommes, this musical shows us that even a tragic love can be more powerful than hatred, and most importantly, that carrying on our stories will help mold the future.

Our Middle School students embraced the colorful personas of their characters, whether it be a peasant, a God, a parent or a storyteller. They are the heart of this story -- and without each one of them, a piece of the story would be missing.

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