The Tony nominated musical Once on This Island, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is being presented tonight, tomorrow and two times Saturday by the senior level students in the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (SMTI).
Performances are at 7pm tonight (Thursday the 23rd), Friday and Saturday with a 1pm matinee on Saturday the 25th, as well. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased by calling the Rep box office or stopping by in person.
Once on This Island is based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy. Set in the French Antilles, it mixes Caribbean mythology with elements of Romeo and Juliet as well as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. It was nominated for 8 Tony Awards in 1991. Four years later, it won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical in London.
Summer Musical Theatre Intensive (SMTI) is The Rep’s annual training program for aspiring young artists in Arkansas. Under the direction of Capri, SMTI is an intensive, audition-based theatre training program designed exclusively for motivated young artists who are serious about the arts and musical theatre.
The SMTI staff is comprised of professional directors, choreographers, musicians and designers. Daily rehearsals are structured similarly to a professional summer stock experience and include instruction in musical theatre techniques, multi-media, costume and stage make-up, dance and vocal coaching.
Each session – broken into Select (ages 10 – 12), Junior (ages 13-15) and Senior (ages 16-23) – involves intensive daily rehearsals culminating in a public workshop performance of a selected musical or musical revue.