A Different Version of the Same Show

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The cast and crew pose at the Region competition.

Stratford’s One-Act play, Once on This Island, earned first place at the GISA regional competition at Mount de Sales Academy on Oct. 29.  Under the direction of Ms. Sylvia Haynie, Director of Theatre, the 29 cast and crew members competed for the state title on Nov. 7 in Albany. The show earned them a fourth-place state  title.

The play takes place on an island and is about a young orphaned girl named Ti Moune who is adopted by a poor couple. Ti Moune later rescues and falls in love with a wealthy boy named Daniel. Because of the social divide in their culture, the two are not allowed to be together. The girl’s heart is broken. When Ti Moune dies, she becomes  a tree that breaks down the gate between the rich and the poor.

When two people from the different social groups fall in love, they are forced apart by social standards. The play portrays the journey of Ti Moune and her love for Daniel as she cares for him and  loses him. She later reunites with him , and is then disappointed to lose him to his promised wife, Andrea.

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The seniors from the cast and crew pose after a school performance.

The original playwrights wrote the show for an all black cast. Instead of being a conflict of wealth, as the Stratford cast performs it, the conflict was between lighter-skinned and darker-skinned blacks. According to Haynie, the playwrights realized they were limiting who could produce the show because of the casting requirements. This led to the original playwrights reuniting in order to rewrite the show so that the conflict could be between social groups instead of racial issues.