Category: Once On This Island


Throwback Thursdays – Kaya Joubert Johnson on Caroline, or Change

Who could forget our 2012, multi-Dora award winning production of Caroline, or Change? With an all-star cast, Caroline, or Change, wowed audiences and critics with its superb blend of semi-operatic musical composition courtesy of Jeanine Tesori, Tony Kushner’s cleverly constructed book and inspired direction from Robert McQueen. In her debut musical theatre role playing Caroline’s youngest son (!) was the very versatile Kaya Joubert Johnson. Currently donning Little Ti Moune’s dress in Once On This Island, Kaya found a few minutes to talk to us about this formative experience

Caroline, or Change (2012): Michael Levinson, Sabryn Rock, Derrick Roberts, Arlene Duncan, Kaya Joubert Johnson (Photographer: Joanna Akyol)

 

Kaya webThis picture is a refreshment of all the great times I had with the wonderful cast of “Caroline, or Change”. It reminds me of all the hard work everyone put into the production of this amazing musical, the set, hair, wardrobe, music, choreography e.t.c Furthermore, the musical was a great success and was a fantastic experience. Being that, I was nine during rehearsals and ten during the show, the youngest cast member and a girl in the role of a boy! 
 
The opportunity to work on this production was a once in a lifetime opportunity that opened many doors for other musicals. This musical made me realize how you have to always bring your “A” Game no matter how tired you are. That each audience is different therefore the energy in the theater will be different. Through this experience I gained the appreciation for theater and understand the that all the work put into the end result is SO worth it. This cast became my extended family!

Jewelle Blackman’s Triple Threat

Only two weeks until the opening of Once On This IslandA love story for all ages, this Ahrens and Flaherty musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a dark skinned peasant woman who must navigate the forces of love and death when she falls in love with the lighter skinned, upper-class man Daniel. 

Ti Moune is played by non other than the formidable Jewelle Blackman, who some of you will remember from our production of Caroline, or Change, and others from this past season as the Acid Queen and Fruma Sarah in Stratford’s Tommy and Fiddler on the Roof, respectively. 

What musical’s score will you always remember?

The Lion King.  Whenever I hear that first note in “The Circle of Life” it gets me in my gut.  The rhythms, the instrumentation and the lyrics embody everything about this beautiful story.  In addition, the usage of varying languages and dialects such as Swahili adds to the authenticity of the music.

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Our Day on the Island (Photo Blog)

Once On This Island

The cast and crew of Once On This Island are having so much fun that we just had to share some their infectious joy with you today. And what better way to do so than with a behind the scenes look at rehearsals?

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Jivaro Smith, Daren A. Herbert, Kaya Joubert Johnson, Sabryn Rock and Nichola Lawrence all “Pray” to the Gods

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Sabryn Rock gives us her spin on masquerade while telling us “The Sad Tell of the Beauxhommes”

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Our fearless photographer, Rob Harding, is also our stage manager! This is what he gets to see before everyone arrives and after everyone leaves for the day (sans fish-eye, of course)

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Jewelle Blackman as the driven heroine, Ti Moune, here embraces her inner tree

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The Gods of Water (Jivaro Smith), Earth (Nichola Lawrence) and Death (Daren A. Herbert) surround Chris Sams as the love-torn Daniel

 


Jivaro Smith’s Triple Threat

While you were putting gifts under the Christmas tree and ringing in the New Year, we’ve been busy beavers getting ready to open Once On This IslandA love story for all ages, this Ahrens and Flaherty musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a dark skinned peasant woman who must navigate the forces of love and death when she falls in love with the lighter skinned, upper-class man Daniel. 

Jivaro Smith plays Agwe, the God of Water, and summoner of the great flood which instigates the events of Once On This Island. Though Jivaro has seen many musicals, it seems that the most lasting ones are those which he has performed in, including The Lion King and that other Ahrens and Flaherty stunner, Ragtime.

What musical’s score will you always remember?

The Lion King because the music and the lyrics and meanings of the songs are so inspirational and have such a lasting impression and carry a great message.

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Chris Sams’ Triple Threat

Today is the first say of rehearsals for Once On This IslandA love story for all ages, this Ahrens and Flaherty musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a dark skinned peasant woman who must navigate the forces of love and death when she falls in love with the lighter skinned, upper-class man Daniel. Chris Sams plays Daniel, the conflicted (anti)hero at the centre of the show’s love triangle. Will Daniel choose between his love for Ti Moune, or his duty to love Andrea? And, much more importantly, what did Chris choose as his favorite musicals of all time?

What musical’s score will you always remember?

Les Miserables. Every time I hear music from the show, I think to myself how amazing it would be to be in a production of it one day. So if anyone would like produce it and then cast me in it, that would be amazing 🙂

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