Crescent Players put on ‘Once on this Island’
Ali Fernand – Features Editor
A story of love, tragedy and death, “Once on this Island” is a tale of two star-crossed lovers.
“It is a love story about a young girl from a peasant village and a wealthy boy,” said Computer Science major Amerigo Salvi, a junior, who plays “Agwe and Armand.”
The peasant being the main character, Timoune, played by Paris Looney. The wealthy boy being the other lead, Daniel, played by Gian Melendez.
First, the characters are introduced when Timoune is a young child. Young Timoune is played by Tamia Barnes.
“She is going through a lot because she has just lost her parents,” said political science major Tamia Barnes, a senior.
Timoune is a character that goes through a lot of struggles. She is poor and an orphan. However, the couple that adopts and raises her shows a lot of love. They consider her a blessing from the gods.
The gods also play a large part in the story. The four gods are the god of the earth, the god of water, the god of love the god and of death. They cause the situations that lead to the events of the main character’s meeting.
The god of death is the most threatening of these gods. This god is played by Aleeki Shortridge.
“He’s a sly demon of death,” said interdisciplinary studies major Aleeki Shortridge, a senior. “He’s collecting people and their souls”
The main conflict is if Timoune will let love or death win. Her love for Daniel always wins
, despite him being wealthy and letting his wealthy parents decide his life.
“He’s so stuck in his privilege. Deep down he is a good kid,” said theatre major Gian Melendez, a senior.
One of the main ideas of the show is to challenge the racism that exists within the wealthy society. The hotel gives the black characters a difficult time. There is even a scene where “TonTon” gets slapped by one of the hotel workers.
“It’s a show about people of color, so I feel like that’s a statement to make,” Gian Melendez said.
The conclusion of the play is tragic, but it ends with hope for a new society. There is a chance for the characters that survive Timoune to have a chance at love.
“Once on this Island” featured a university alumnus and professional actor, Eric Clinton. He graduated in 2018 and has landed roles in shows such as “In the Heights” and a movie called “Prom House.”
“A lot of my beginnings, a lot of the things I have learned were from this theatre department,” Clinton said.
In the play he is the character “TonTon.” He is the adoptive father of the main character Timoune.
Clinton was an active member of the theatre department. He was featured in a commercial that the university put out a few years back.
“I was the feature for SCSU’s commercial that went to every TV network during the Olympics, during the All-Star Game,” Clinton said.
This commercial was very important to Clinton and his acting career. He has been able to use it to promote himself and earn gigs once he had graduated.
However, he got the offer to come back and perform at the school for this show. He was able to make it work despite his busy schedule.
“It’s tight. I have another show going on; I’m flying to London tomorrow to shoot something,” Clinton said.