Once On This Island Is A Must See

Only three shows remain for the amazing spring musical.


Courtesy of Doc Worth

The cast of Once On This Island will be back on stage Thursday night.

Two words: standing ovation. If Titan Theater’s production of “Almost Maine” in the fall was great, their spring musical “Once On This Island” is exceptional. Every aspect of the production was goosebump inducing – no wonder this talented group has won numerous awards.

According to Titan Theater’s Director Doc Worth, this production of “Once On This Island” was entirely “designed and executed by the cast and crew” as they will be performing their work for Cappies next Friday evening. “Everything on the stage and the costumes, the set pieces, the props, everything is student designed, student built and student run,” Worth said.

The musical tells the story of prejudice through a peasant girl named Ti Moune (Katy Price), who falls in love with a wealthy boy named Daniel (Chase Bochenek) as well as the power of love over death. Price’s favorite part of the show has been getting to be on stage and sing on stage again. “[Ti Moune] is a very deep character, a very hard character to play but it’s been fun getting to do my own twist on it,” she said.

With 21 songs in total, this production perfectly showcases each and every beautiful voice on the cast as it is full of solos. Each cast member has an impressive voice, but the four gods (Naomi Gorbach, Lilly Hurtado, Madya Clinch, and Lareina Allred) and the mother (Ella Greer) particularly stood out. Although this is truly a no-bathroom-break show, when watching this musical, open your ears especially for “Ti Moune” sung by Mama Euralie (Greer) and more of the cast, “Rain” sung by Agwe (Gorbach), and “The Human Heart” sung by Erzulie (Clinch).

The cast spent three months preparing for performances and their hard work presents itself through every well-explored character, like Asaka (Lilly Hurtado) who has a sensational stage presence making each moment with her on stage a pleasure. In “Mama Will Provide” which is right before intermission, Asaka makes a promise to look after Ti Moune in her journey to the other side of the island, but also promises the audience a wonderful second act. Hurtado is very fond of her song and said, “I think it’s the most moving and most ridiculous scene change and song with all the puppets and dancing and high and loud notes. I really like that.”

The creator of the puppets seen in the song “Mama Will Provide,” Maguire Crowe, said the puppets are one of the things he is most excited to share with the audience. “There are eight puppets that come onto the stage and I put a lot of time and effort into making them look sort of fun and cartoony for the song,” he said.

In addition to the great performances by the cast, the extent of the crew’s achievements are impossible to ignore. From the lights to the growing tree to the literal rainfall on stage, the tech aspects of the show are yet another reason not to miss. According to Worth, Titan Theater first made rainfall on stage in 2020 for their later canceled production of “Singing in the Rain” all thanks to then sophomore Crowe. This year as a senior, Crowe is technical director and once again made it rain for his final shows with Titan Theater. Crowe consulted a civil engineer on the rainfall.  “We had to do some math and find a pump that could actually pump a severe amount of water up to about 30 deet in the air,” Crowe said. 

Let the complexity and professional appearing work by the costume crew not be overlooked. The exquisite costumes only added to the characters that the performers expressed on stage. Crew member Emma Mitchell is responsible for every costume seen on stage. She is particularly proud of the gods’ costumes but also said, “I learned a lot about culture costume designing and trying to learn about where stuff originates and time periods and style, and specifically with this play, I learned a lot about Haitian culture.”

Of course, a musical cannot be a musical without music. Titan Theater is accompanied by students playing reed (Anderson Evitt), bass (TJ Hillman), and percussion (Tiger Silapasart) who brought the Caribbean vibe to the theater. ”[Being a part of the show] is certainly an experience and it’s definitely helped me grow as a musician,” Silapasart said.

This show is particularly special for Titan Theater because they will be performing it next Friday to be considered for the Cappies, a program that allows productions and individuals to be recognized for their accomplishments in high school theater. Any successes from Cappies would not be the first time students from Titan Theater are recognized. “Ella Greer was best actress in our one competition at districts and regionals, and McGuire Crowe was ranked third at our district competition and Aaron Hack was ranked second at our regional competition,” Worth said.

Due to their talent and hard work, this group is a joy to watch and every aspect of the show is nothing short of outstanding making Once On This Island a must see. “It’s absolutely gorgeous to see this come alive on stage; this story inside of a story inside of a story,” Mitchell said.