Once on This Island JR.
Adapted from the celebrated Broadway musical, this rousing Calypso-flavored tale follows one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice.
Show Essentials
17
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

In the opening number, "We Dance," the peasants describe their world: their lives are ruled by powerful gods, and their island is ruled by the wealthy "grands hommes." They explain that the peasants and the grands hommes belong to "two different worlds, never meant to meet."

In "One Small Girl," they begin the tale of Ti Moune, a peasant girl from their side of the island, who fell in love with a grand homme after being "chosen by the gods for a magical fate." They describe how she was saved from a flood by the gods when she was a child and raised by loving adoptive parents. At the end of the song, Ti Moune has turned into a beautiful young woman.

In "Waiting for Life," Ti Moune, who is now working in the hot fields, yearns for an undefined future, which she feels she has been promised by the gods. She reminds them that they have singled her out and tells them not to forget her. A grand homme dressed in white, drives past her and she decides he will someday carry her off to a new life.

Agwe, the God of Water, starts by creating a night of "Rain," and causes the young grand homme, Daniel, to crash his car on a dark road. Ti Moune discovers him. Cradling the injured Daniel in her arms, Ti Moune realizes that the gods have answered her prayer.

Despite the objections of the peasants, Ti Moune cares for Daniel. As her father, Tonton Julian, goes off in search of Daniel's family, Ti Moune's mother, Mama Euralie, observes that Ti Moune has become obsessed with this boy. Tonton Julian discovers Daniel's family, who live behind the guarded gates of a fine hotel on the other side of the island. Meanwhile, the peasants fear Ti Moune's folly will bring the wrath of the gods down upon them. They "Pray" to ward off evil as a terrible storm rises.

Inside her hut, Ti Moune pledges her love to Daniel in the song, "Forever Yours." She imagines him handsome and well. Suddenly, Papa Ge, the sly Demon of Death, appears to claim Daniel. Ti Moune promises to give up her own life and soul if Papa Ge will only spare Daniel. He gleefully agrees to her bargain.

Tonton Julian leads Daniel's family to him, and they carry him off in a stretcher. Ti Moune insists on following Daniel. Although her parents plead with her to remain with them, they finally allow her to leave with their blessing.

Ti Moune's journey begins as the storytellers enter, dressed as colorful birds, trees, frogs and breezes. They introduce Asaka, the formidable Mother of the Earth, who promises Ti Moune that "Mama Will Provide" all the things she is likely to need on her way.

Ti Moune enters Daniel's room, where he lies in bed, still feverish from his injuries. She convinces him that she has come to heal him, and he agrees to let her stay the night. As Ti Moune lies down beside him, the Goddess of Love, Erzulie, appears to preside over them in "The Human Heart."

In "Pray – Reprise," the storytellers become gossips, commenting on the unlikely union of a grand homme and a peasant girl, as Daniel and Ti Moune fall deeply in love. The gossips insist Ti Moune may be Daniel's mistress, but will never become his wife.

On a starlit evening, Ti Moune tells Daniel of her dreams for their future. He replies she is different from "Some Girls" he has known and says, "some girls you marry, some you love." As he sings, another girl dresses before a mirror, her elegant movements and clothes in contrast to Ti Moune's simplicity and earthiness.

At the Hotel Beauxhomme, a ball is held and the grand hommes eagerly wait for a glimpse of Ti Moune. She arrives, dressed beautifully but simply. Daniel introduces Ti Moune to Andrea Devereaux, the girl we saw dressing for the ball. At Andrea's request, Ti Moune dances, enchanting everyone at the ball. As Ti Moune celebrates her triumphant performance, Andrea asks her to perform at her wedding, explaining it is she who will be marrying Daniel.

Daniel tells Ti Moune he was promised to Andrea as a child and, "this is how things are done." Ti Moune is in shock, and Daniel bluntly tells her they could never have married.

Desolate and alone, Ti Moune hears critical voices from the past echoing in her head. Papa Ge appears and reminds her of her promise, reprising "Forever Yours." He says that, instead of surrendering her own soul, she can choose to kill Daniel and have her own life back. Reminding her of Daniel's betrayal, he gives her a knife.

Ti Moune is thrown out of the Hotel Beauxhomme. She waits, not eating or sleeping, until Daniel and Andrea pass by her after their wedding, tossing coins to the peasants. She calls out to Daniel, and he pauses by her side for a moment before moving on. She curls up in despair and, from her hand ,falls the coin Daniel has pressed into it.

Mama Euralie begins a lament for Ti Moune, "Part of Us." The storytellers enact Ti Moune's death. She is passed gently from one god to the next until Asaka at last takes Ti Moune to her breast and lays her to rest in the earth.

Ti Moune is resurrected from the earth as a beautiful tree, one which will shelter peasants and grand hommes alike for years to come. The storytellers tell the little girl how Daniel's young son encountered a beautiful peasant girl in the tree, and the spirit of Ti Moune set them free to love one another. This is "Why We Tell the Story." They sing to the little girl, "For out of what we live and we believe, our lives become the stories that we weave."

As the little girl picks up the thread of the story and begins to tell it, the storytellers resume their places around the fire. The stars come out as the lights fade on them.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Storytellers

These four narrators tell the story of the Once On This Island Junior. They can be female or male. These four roles are perhaps the most difficult of the show. Not only do they sing the bulk of the show, they also tell the story, and if properly directed, focus the audience's attention on important events throughout the production. Cast excellent singers who can both act and handle the demands of a sizeable role.

Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: Ab4
Mama Euralie
Mama is the symbolic mother of us all. She is loving, practical, funny and earthy.This is a great role for a good actress with a pleasant voice. Be sure to audition Mama with Tonton as you will want to cast two people who perform well together and have stage chemistry.
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: G4
Tonton Julian
Tonton is the loving father to his adopted daughter, Ti Moune. Tonton is strong, practical, and supportive. He is faced with the difficult task of letting Ti Moune chase her dreams, even if it means that he may never see the daughter he loves again. The performer who plays this role should have a nice voice and be a good actor. It helps, but isn't necessary, to cast a boy whose voice has already changed. Remember to audition Mama and Tonton together to check out their stage compatibility. Pay attention to the physical match between them. If Tonton is the same height or taller than Euralie, they are visually believable as a couple to the audience.
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Little Girl / Little Ti Moune / Peasant Girl

Little Girl and Little Ti Moune are played by the same actress. Look for someone that can portray a frightened girl, as well as a spunky, young girl who enjoys running and playing around. These characters have no solo singing lines, so this is the perfect place to cast a younger performer with good acting skills and a dynamic stage presence. The Peasant Girl is often played by the same actress, but you can choose to cast another actor for this role.

Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: E4
Ti Moune

Ti Moune is the forcus of our story and is featured in solo songs and dance. The actress performing the role should have an excellent voice and be an excellent dancer. The music Ti Moune sings is written in a pop style; make sure the actress can sing this style of music. She must be able to drive the energy of her scenes. Ti Moune performs a pivotal dance solo. If you are considering an actress who is a wonderful singer and actor but not a strong dance, don't worry. This dance isn't as much about choreography as it is about storytelling.

Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Daniel Beauxhomme
Daniel is the leading male character in Once On This Island JR. Cast a boy with a good voice and who is comfortable acting ang moving. His role is dramatic and exciting. Pair up potential Ti Mounes and Daniels at your final audition. Remember, the most successful casting decisions are the perfect combination of talent, look and chamistry.
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Daniel's Son
This is a very small walk-on part at the very end of the show. Cast the smallest, cutest boy available to play Daniel's son. Consider casting a younger sibling from your company. This is a non-singing and non-speaking role.
Gatekeeper
The Gatekeeper has one scene. This role can be portrayed by a boy or a girl, but he or she needs a booming voice and strong stature. Cast a performer who takes command of the stage and is capable of taking instruction for stage combat. This is a great place for an actor or actress who's not quite ready for a large part or for someone who doesn't have a strong singing voice.
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: E4
Daniel's Father
Unlike Tonton Julian, Daniel's father is not sympathetic or understanding of his son's wishes. This is a small male role requiring some singing and acting. This is a good role for an actor who is not quite ready for a large part.
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Andrea
Andrea is Daniel's refined and beautiful fiancée. Daniel and Andrea have been promised to each other by their parents since birth. She is sophisticated, educated and the exact opposite of Ti Moune. The actress performing the role should have a reasonably good voice and be able to move gracefully. Andrea needs to come across as the ultimate snob.
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Papa Ge
Papa Ge describes himself as "the sly demon of death." He is also the closest thing to a "bad guy" in Once On This Island Junior. The actor playing this role must be able to create a strong character and have an evil laugh! He should be a good singer, but he does not need to have a polished, pretty voice - in fact, the more unique his vocal quality is, the better. Papa Ge could be portrayed by a girl, but generally works best with a male actor.
Vocal range top: Ab5
Vocal range bottom: C#4
Asaka
Asaka is the Goddess of the Earth and sings one of the most popular and fun songs of the show, "Mama Will Provide." Cast an xcellent singer who moves well and has a robust personality. This performer should be played by a female who can create a fun character larger than life!
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Agwe
Agwe is the God of Water. He or she has a solo early in the show that requires an excellent voice ("Rain"). Cast an actor capable of driving the energy of this scene.
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: C#4
Erzulie
Erzulie is the triumphant Goddess of Love. Cast a graceful mover with a pretty voice. This is a perfect role for an actress who can be confident yet charming.
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Choir Of Storytellers
(Peasants, Villagers, Guests, Grands Hommes) The ensemble is easily expandable to accommodate kids of nearly any ability. This is a great place to cast a child who is new to your program in order to see how he or she handles themselves in a show. (Remember, next year's lead may come from this year's ensemble.) Your ensemble has the opportunity to perform many roles, transforming from Peasants to wealthy Grands Hommes. However, if you have thousands come out to audition, cast specific ensemble roles. This way cast members will not play more than one part. Feature your stronger performers with solos or dialogue.
Gossipers

The Gossipers are a great way to cast performers who may or may not be quite ready for larger roles but deserve a few featured lines. These performers should be actors and singers that take direction well.

Full Song List
Once On This Island JR.: Prologue/We Dance
Once On This Island JR.: One Small Girl/Waiting for Life
Once On This Island JR.: And the Gods Heard Her Prayer/Rain
Once On This Island JR.: Discovering Daniel/Pray
Once On This Island JR.: Forever Yours
Once On This Island JR.: Ti Moune
Once On This Island JR.: Mama Will Provide
Once On This Island JR.: The Human Heart
Once On This Island JR.: Pray Reprise/The Ball
Once On This Island JR.: Ti Moune's Dance
Once On This Island JR.: Andrea Sequence
Once On This Island JR.: Promises/Forever Yours Reprise
Once On This Island JR.: Wedding Sequence
Once On This Island JR.: A Part of Us/Why We Tell the Story
Once On This Island JR.: Bows/Exit Music

Connect

Curriculum Connection

  • Storytelling
  • Weather
  • Geography
  • Myths
  • Island Cultures
  • Tolerance
  • Bullying

Billing

Based on "My Love, My Love" by Rosa Guy.

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

Author Billing – Once on This Island JR.

In accordance with the Dramatic Performing Rights License, all advertising, such as posters and program covers, must include the show logo as provided in the ShowKit® Director's Guide and all of the following author billing.
It is a violation of your contract if you crop or edit this logo in any way.
The [Licensee]
Production of
 

Book and Lyrics by
LYNN AHRENS

Music by
STEPHEN FLAHERTY

 
Based Upon the Novel,  " My Love, My Love " by Rosa Guy
 
Originally Directed and Choreographed on Broadway by Graciela Danielle
Playwrights Horizons, Inc. Produced
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Off-Broadway in 1990
Originally Produced on Broadway by The Shubert Organization,
Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., Suntory International Corporation
And James Walsh,
In Association With Playwrights Horizons
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources

Resource
ACTOR'S BOOK TENPACK
CUSTOMIZABLE SHOW POSTER
FAMILY MATTERS
FAMILY MATTERS (PACK OF 10)
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
STREAMING LICENSE