The Oconee Youth Playhouse’s last show of the season will be a new show. 

The Watkinsville-based theater will host the play “Once On This Island” Aug. 10-11 and Aug. 16-18. 

There are 7 p.m. showtime  on Aug 10, 11, 16 and 17, and matinees are offered at 3 p.m. on Aug. 11 and 18. 

The play’s setting is a tropical island ruled by powerful gods, and the plot follows a fearless peasant girl named Ti Moune who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes, according to a press release from one of the play’s directors, Shane Hannon. 

Hannon explained how his wife, Terra Hannon, is not only a director for the play, but that they brought the play to their theater together.

“We just had our 20th anniversary (in 2018), so I surprised her with a trip to New York, and this is one of the shows we saw last summer on Broadway,” Shane said. “Once we saw it, we thought if we could bring it to Oconee County and bring it to the kids who are in the show, I knew it’d be a special show for them.”

“Once On This Island” fared has fared well during its time on Broadway. When it opened there in 1990, the play earned eight Tony Award nominations, including ones for best musical, book and score.

When the play was revived in 2017 and re-premiered on Broadway, it later won a 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. 

The Oconee theater’s cast is mostly made up of high schoolers from several area schools. Shane described how the cast has been practicing almost every day for three weeks. 

So far, the cast has worked on blocking the show, which entails planning choreography and delivery of lines or songs. Soon, they will transition into more technical-heavy, dress rehearsals.

“It’s been very condensed, but everybody’s keeping the harmonies in their heads because they do it (practice) every day,” Shane said.

Tickets for the shows will be $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors, and tickets are sold online at  

Pending availability, tickets will also be sold at the door starting an hour before each performance. 


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