Culture House brings ‘Once on This Island’ to Kauffman


Press Release posted by Bob Evans


Culture House




THE CULTURE HOUSE SUMMER BROADWAY THEATRE production has become a successful Kansas City tradition! Pulling from some of the most talented performers in Kansas City, we have been able to produce incredible and award-winning productions for the past 6 years: “Les Miserables” (summer 2013 at Yardley Hall), “Big River” (summer 2014 at The Kauffman Center, winner of 6 International Music & Entertainment Association (IMEA) Awards, including Best Musical and Best Director), “Into the Woods” (summer 2015 at Yardley Hall, winner of 3 IMEA Awards), “Big Fish” (summer 2016 at The Kauffman Center, winner of 2 IMEA Awards), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (summer 2017 at Polsky Theatre, winner of 2 IMEA Awards, including Best Director), and our biggest and grandest show to date, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (summer 2018 at Yardley Hall). Be a part of our incredible summer tradition and see why “WE TELL THE STORY”!


The Culture House/Kauffman Center

From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Seussical, Ragtime), comes the Olivier Award-winning “Once on This Island”. This highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid”, garnered eight Tony nominations in 1991 for its original Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score. In 2018, the Broadway revival production was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.

Ti Moune, a peasant girl, rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune’s life. When she pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, Ti Moune is shunned because of her lowly status. Her determination and capacity to love, though, is not enough to win Daniel’s heart, and Ti Moune pays the ultimate price; but the gods turn Ti Moune into a tree that grows so strong and so tall, it breaks the wall that separates the societies and ultimately unites them.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Cast: Natasha Gibbons (Ti Moune), Chase Simmons (Daniel), Tionne Allen (Mama Euralie), Kaleb Clemmons (Tonton), Evan Lovelace (Papa Ge), Larissa Briley (Erzulie), Addie Lee (Asaka), Te Minor (Agwe), Matt Fowler (Armand), Michaela Sewalson (Andrea), Aubrey Richardson (Little Ti Moune), Havilah Gilliland (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Jaynie Brown (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Elaine Christensen (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Madison Kelsey (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Amanda Emilee Moder (Featured Dancer/Storyteller),  Iris Enna (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Beth Alleman (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Jeremiah Coleman (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Lucy McClung (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Noah Smith (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Allie McMillin (Featured Dancer/Storyteller), Aggie Williams (Featured Storyteller), Jessica Holcombe (Featured Storyteller), Joslyn Joseph (Featured Storyteller), Cally Beckman (Featured Storyteller), Connor Ampleman (Featured Storyteller), Jamy VanSyckle (Featured Storyteller), De’Markcus Howell (Featured Storyteller), Cameron Gunter (Featured Storyteller), Marshall Lovelace (Gatekeeper/Storyteller), Allison Cloud (Madame Armand/Storyteller), Maddie Ampleman (Little Girl/Storyteller), Aaron Watts (Daniel’s Son/Storyteller) and Storytellers: Sharon Johnson, Valerie Knott, Amy Zemelman, Andrea Hobley, Isabelle Alston, Ella McClung, Megan Clifford, Kaelana Mong, Marty Joseph, Sienna Wilting, Rachel Field, Eleanor Morgan, Tripp Star, Chuck Chambers, Will Gurley, Emerson Ross, John Van de Voort, Michael De Voe Jr, Jefferson Harwood, Jacob Durant, Aliyah Hart, Emma Scott, Isabelle VanSyckle, Josie McClung and Noah Hart.

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Musicians: Michelle Reed (Keyboard), Bill Welch (Guitar), Deana Wagoner (Synthesizer), Ron Mundt (Reeds), Blake Vignery (Percussion) and JJ Wallace (Bass).

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Production Team: Amy LaGrone Sander (Summer Broadway Theatre Director and TCH General Manager & Producer), Matt Richardson (Music Director/Conductor), Nick Perry (Choreographer), Elana LaGrone (Production Coordinator), Morgan Stacer (Stage Manager) and Michelle Reed (Accompanist).

Tickets may be purchased for $25/$32/$50 from The Carlsen Center Box Office at 913.469.4445 (12345 College Blvd, Overland Park) or by visiting

The Culture House is one of the most unique training and performance venues in the Kansas City area. With theatre, dance, vocal and instrumental music, and visual arts all under one roof, it is an experience one cannot miss. Additionally, when you walk in the doors, you will find students from all over Kansas City and surrounding areas. With professional education and performance opportunities for ages 3 through adult, The Culture House is Kansas City’s premier arts conservatory. For additional information, please call The Culture House at 913.393.3141 or visit us at

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