Weekly Feature



2018-03-08 / Front Page

Caribbean style: St. Mary’s students to perform ‘Once On This Island’

by AMY ROBB Editor


Matt Walter as Armand, Christina Federico as Erzulie, Mackenzie Kwilos as TiMoune and Jeffrey Rosner as Papa Ge will bring the songs and story of “Once on This Island” to life, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17. 
Photo by Chuck Skipper Matt Walter as Armand, Christina Federico as Erzulie, Mackenzie Kwilos as TiMoune and Jeffrey Rosner as Papa Ge will bring the songs and story of “Once on This Island” to life, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17. Photo by Chuck Skipper St. Mary’s High School will present “Once On This Island” for audiences March 15-17 in the school’s Gus Galasso Auditorium, located at 142 Laverack Ave. in Lancaster.

Performances will be at 7:30 each night.

Director Heather Ruhland said she chose the musical because it is different from shows St. Mary’s has done in the past. She noted its “Caribbean flair.”

“This show includes elements of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and elements of the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale ‘The Little Mermaid.’ It revolves around a peasant girl on a tropical island who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes.”


Mary Owczarczak, a sophomore at St. Mary’s High School, created the artwork that will be featured on the cover of the school musical program. Mary Owczarczak, a sophomore at St. Mary’s High School, created the artwork that will be featured on the cover of the school musical program. The main characters, TiMoune and Daniel, will be played by Mackenzie Kwilos and Alex Denz.

Gods and goddesses meddle in the affairs of men and women in the show. Papa Ge, the Demon of Death, will be played by Jeffrey Rosner; Erzulie, the Goddess of Love, will be played by Christina Federico; Agwe, the God of Water, is portrayed by Marten Linnan; and Asaka, the Mother of the Earth, will be played by Shala Wright.

“This is probably one of the most intricate musicals I’ve been in. I think this is going to be a great show, and I’m excited for everybody to see and enjoy it how we’ve enjoyed it,” said Rosner, a senior, about the upcoming performance.

“Not judging a book by its cover, that’s the main message of this. The main character, she’s very careless about her position in society; she wants to bring everyone together and unite them.”

Federico, also a senior, is excited to bring the story and music to life.

“I’m very excited, because this is what I love doing. This is my second family, the cast. I love my song that I sing, “The Human Heart.” It’s such a beautiful song because it’s when Daniel and TiMoune unite and they find each other. The vocals in it are so extravagant, and it’s just so meaningful. I think the whole audience will relate to it so much.”

Other cast members include Julia Hartloff as Mama Euralie, Isaac Stearns as Tonton Julian, Kerry Sullivan as Andrea Deveraux, Matthew Walter as Armand, and storytellers Shannon Murty, Julia Soluri, Jillian Vitale and Kylie Wagner.

Mary Owczarczak, a sophomore at St. Mary’s, created artwork to be featured on the program cover.

“Once On This Island” is currently back on Broadway, 17 years after it made its original debut.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, children and seniors. The public can call 683-4824 to reserve their tickets or stop by the box office at 142 Laverack Ave. in Lancaster.

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