The Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department‘s final mainstage production of the Fall 2016 semester, the musical Once on This Island, runs November 30-December 10 in Studio 404 of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Center, located at 72 E. 11th St., in Chicago’s South Loop.
With book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty (the team also responsible for the musicals Ragtime and Seussical, among others), Once on This Island is based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl, by Rosa Guy.
The musical concerns a peasant girl on a tropical island using the power of love to bring together people of different social classes.
Once on This Island “celebrates the notion of community in a joyous yet timely way. It’s a love story set against the frame of race and skin-tone as the defining trait for advantage and power (a truth still magnified today throughout our daily lives and political discourse),” says the show’s director, faculty member Ashton Byrum. “As we near the end of the historic presidency of Barack Obama, our nation reels from a long and exhausting political season of division and the coded language of prejudice. But it’s been fascinating for our ensemble to explore the notion of a light-skinned man of color representing the traditional seat of privilege and entitlement. Our society has a lot of healing to do to unite as one community. Unsurprisingly, what heals this division in the show and hopefully in real life is love, selfless love. Love can create and define a new community – love conquers all. . . . At Columbia College Chicago, we’re proud that our students reflect what the world looks like and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”
With choreography by students Michael George and Mariah Morris and musical direction by faculty member Phil Caldwell, the show features an all-student cast and design/production team. For a full cast and design/production team list, click here.
The performance schedule is:
- Wednesday, November 30, 6:30 PM;
- Thursday-Friday, December 1 and 2, 7:30 PM;
- Saturday, December 3, 2 and 7 PM;
- Wednesday-Friday, December 7-9, 7:30 PM;
- Saturday, December 10, 2 PM (closing performance).
Admission is $10 for the general public; $5 for senior citizens and students from other schools; and FREE for all Columbia students (code: CCCSTU) and faculty (code: TCFAC).
The production will also help raise funds for hurricane relief in Haiti, where the show takes place.
For tickets, call 312-369-8330 or click here.