Since the end of the first semester the members of the Tompkins theatre company have been preparing for their spring musical, Once on This Island. The show follows the life of a young girl Ti Moune after she is chosen by the Caribbean Gods for a greater purpose. Though every show requires a great deal of rehearsal and preparation, Once on This Island has been an extra challenging show due to the extent of the technical elements and elaborate choreography. Seniors Samantha Hennig of lights crew and dancer Rodrigo Colunga are two members of the company who have put many hours into the show.
“This show has involved a lot of colorful lights and effects we have never done before. It has been a challenge, but I have learned a lot,” said Hennig.
The vibrant nature of the show has required technicians to get creative with their effects, especially lighting. Lights crew has learned many new techniques to make the show seem as real as possible.
“The dances have been some of the most challenging out of all the shows I’ve danced in. The upbeat music means we have to hit a lot of moves in a short amount of time,” said Colunga
While most musicals have an upbeat soundtrack, Once on This Island features music that is traditional to the Polynesian Islands. This means the music has strong beats and is fast paced, making it difficult for the dancers to keep up with it.
“I think the show has a really good message about social classes. I encourage everyone to not only come see they show but really think about the messages in it,” said Maggie Rodriguez, the director of the show.
The show touches on issues of classism and race. While there is entertainment value, there is a deeper meaning to the show as well.
“I am really excited for the show and I think it is some of our best work yet,” said Colunga.
Once on This Island shows Jan. 31, Feb.1, and Feb 2. All shows are at 7:00p.m. plus a 2:00p.m. show on Feb 2. Tickets are available on the Tompkins Theatre Company website https://www.tompkinstheatre.com/ and at the door.