Once On This Island – The Musical

Fabulist Theatre is excited to announce its own production of Once On This Island, a musical with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty based on a 1985 novel “My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl” by Rosa Guy. This one-act musical incorporates aspects of Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Little Mermaid, and the heartbreaking story of Romeo and Juliet.

The original Broadway production ran from 1990 to 1991 in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1995 after opening in the West End theatre production in London, England a year previously.

Fabulist Theatre uses the story as a platform to display love, death and social prejudice as the more universal themes in the story. Their goal to strive for a diverse and mixed cast is reflected in their multiracial performers in order to showcase a community of people who make up the city of Vancouver and of Canada.

The story focuses on an orphaned girl named Ti Moune, played by Brianna Clark, who brings together different social classes through the power of love. The original show focused on the separation and division of class through the color of ones skin. The native islander “peasants” were darker skinned compared to the French who were lighter in tone, but for Fabulist Theatre, their cast consists of a lighter skinned Ti Moune, who is the orphaned, peasant girl, compared to their character Daniel, played by Michael Gnansounou, who is more tan – creating a non-traditional casting choice.


Photo by: Tina Clelland 

Fabulist theatre is a company that focuses to provide opportunities to performers of all backgrounds. This is also a way for them to set an example for kids who are of a visible minority to see themselves be represented as strong and capable, not only as characters but also as individuals.

Fabulist Theatre provides a way for people from all walks of life to see that they, too, can do it.

Photo by: Tina Clelland 

Check them out at Red Gate Revue Stage located in Granville Island, 1601 Johnston Street to celebrate their opening night silent auction and reception for their Vancouver production, Once On This Island, on Saturday, April 7th at 8 p.m.

Photo by: Tina Clelland 

Written by Shama Palangdosan

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