The story of Ti Moune; told by NC actors and actresses 


Amber Roldan

The cast and crew of Once On This Island Jr. made memories that would last them a lifetime as they sang and danced out their hearts on stage this weekend. Practice truly did perfect this production, along with behind the scenes magic, including makeup and microphones. “I am going to miss the environment that the theater creates so much when I graduate. It will be so sad to leave behind Mrs. Bryd, Mrs. Corcoran, and all of my friends,” senior Liz Mayorga said.

Amber Roldan, Staff

34 cast members, 20 crew members, 1 director and over 75 hours of preparation came together to bring the magical story of Once on this Island Jr. to life on NC’s stage. All of the cast and crew’s hard work paid off, as all 5 of the show’s performances proved successful. The production portrayed the tragic love story of stubborn peasant Ti Moune, who fell in love with her soulmate Daniel. Undeterred by their forbidden love, the story breaks social class barriers and depicted an inspiring show.

The story of Once On This Island Jr. takes place on a polytheistic island, where the gods and economic class govern hand-in-hand. Actors and actresses told the story through singing and choreographed dancing. Ti Moune’s story revealed great pain, yet by ceasing to lose hope and fighting for love up until her last dying breath, the story’s heroine inspired all who stepped foot on stage and all audience members in attendance. 

Through the duration of the exhausting show week, cast and crew members alike felt as if they spent more time at the theater than at their own homes. With the opening night on Thursday, January 29 and two shows Friday, followed with two performances on Saturday, spending so much time together at the theater created new friendships among the group while also strengthened old ones. With innumerable laughs shared in between shows and during meals, passionate, loving energy became palpable throughout the theater.

NC senior Liz Mayorga beautifully portrayed the lead role of Ti Moune, her first lead role in her high school theater career. The aspiring actress and singer sang her heart out on stage as her voice filled the auditorium and touched the hearts of all audience members in attendance. Mayorga joined theater her sophomore year, a decision that would forever shape the rest of her life.

 “The cast is what made this show and this role so special for me. We all created such a strong family bond which made a world of difference when it came to our performance,” senior Liz Mayorga said.

Every show contained highs and lows, with each cast member cherished their own unique parts of them and hoped to forget certain moments when mistakes occurred. Everyone who made up the cast and crew agreed that Friday’s daytime performance embodied the zenith of all the five shows. NC’s Standing Ovation theater program invited kindergarten through second graders from surrounding elementary schools to act as audience members for the show. Over 500 eager children filled the seats of NC’s theater.  Actors and actresses heard the children’s contagious laughter backstage before the show which motivated them to do their absolute best and perform like tomorrow did not exist. 

“I loved performing for the little kids; it was so heartwarming to make them smile, laugh, and watch them have fun. Hopefully, this experience will inspire the kids to join theater when they get into high school,” junior Ginnette Samu said.

The show came to a close on Saturday night as the cast took their final bows, a bittersweet moment for theater kids. Audience members from all five shows left NC’s theater in awe of the performance they witnessed. Friends and family members waited to congratulate cast members outside of the Performing Arts Center. The performance of Once On This Island Jr. could not take place, much less succeed, without the tireless efforts from NC’s theater department and director Candice Corcoran. Sad to say goodbye to their beloved cast and crew, theater kids hold onto memories made in this year’s Winter musical and look forward to the new ones they will create in the upcoming spring production of Newsies.

“The most rewarding part of my job comes when I get to see the excitement on my students’ faces on stage from the moment the curtains open to the moment they close. I am honored to be able to help create so many memories that I know will be cherished for many years to come,” NC theater director Candice Corcoran said.