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Once On This Island by Raz

Agwe and Little Ti Moune

Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Once on This Island, a Caribbean musical presented by the KUUMBA Players, a community theatre group based at All Souls Church. The performance was held on the intimate church stage and was filled with song, vibrant costumes and great energy.

The KUUMBA Players are a multigenerational, multicultural group dedicated to producing works that explore social justice issues. In this production, the youngest cast member is 8, and the oldest is in her 70s. From what I saw on Sunday, this group really does bring a wide array of people together for a common purpose.

The group was founded in 2001 and works to serve and strengthen the All Souls Church and DC Metro area communities by providing opportunities for members and friends to participate in the theatrical experience. The Players were named after the Swahili word “KUUMBA,” meaning to serve your community through creativity, which exemplifies the mission and goals of the group.

Once on This Island is adapted from Rosa Guy’s novel, My Love, My Love or the Peasant Girl. On a small island in the French Antilles, the young peasant girl Ti Moune challenges her fate when she falls for the rich and privileged Daniel. Mysteries and miracles abound as the Gods of Love and Death chart her course across an island rich with color and steeped in traditions of class division.  Continues after the jump.

The majority of the story is told through song and dance, which really drew me in while watching the show. The audience on Sunday was all-ages – bring your kids, go with friends, go as a date – this show caters to all audiences. The show is running March 20, 21 and 22. For more information, visit http://wp.all-souls.org/kuumba-players

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