CCM Musicals Series presents Caribbean fairy tale 'Once On This Island'

Composed by alumnus Stephen Flaherty, the musical runs March 28-30 at CCM; tickets on sale now

UC College-Conservatory of Music presents Once On This Island, a Caribbean-set retelling of The Little Mermaid, on March 28-30, 2024, at Patricia Corbett Theater. From the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, ’82), the musical shares the story of one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. 

Based on the 1985 novel My Love, My Love or The Peasant Girl by Rosa Guy, this theatrical adaptation garnered eight Tony nominations for its Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score. Alumni Guest Artist Torie Wiggins (BFA Acting, ’02) directs the production at CCM. 

"I have loved this show ever since I had the pleasure of doing it in high school in Atlanta, Georgia," Wiggins says. "It’s important to me to teach our students that BIPOC stories are crucial to the fabric of musical theatre, and this is one of the first ones I was introduced to many years ago."

Costume design rendering for Ti Moune. Provided by student costume designer Erin Donnelly.

Costume design rendering for Ti Moune. Provided by student costume designer Erin Donnelly.

A story of pompous gods, prejudiced people, perseverance and love, Once On This Island centers on a woman's journey to reunite with the man who captured her heart.

Ti Moune, a peasant girl, rescues Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, and falls in love with him. Unbeknown to Ti Moune, the four temperamental 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 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.

This isn't the first time CCM has presented works by alumnus Stephen Flaherty. During the college's 150th anniversary season, CCM performed Seussical, which won a CityBeat Best of Cincinnati Award. Most recently, CCM celebrated Stephen Flaherty in a fundraiser featuring performances by Broadway alums and students at New York's Carnegie Hall. 

After the students and Broadway guests had their final bows on the iconic Carnegie Hall stage, CCM announced a new scholarship in Flaherty's name — the Stephen Flaherty Scholarship for Musical Theatre

Once On This Island is the first Broadway musical from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, premiering in 1990. According to Playbill, Ahrens discovered the story upon which the musical is based and Flaherty wrote the opening notes during a subway ride. She and Flaherty approached My Love, My Love author Rosa Guy for the rights, but "had to prove themselves to earn her approval." They presented four songs and won her approval! Read more about how Ahrens and Flaherty became an award-winning songwriting duo.

CCM's production of Once On This Island features Musical Theatre students on stage, Theatre Design and Production students and faculty behind-the-scenes, and CCM student instrumentalists in the music ensemble.

"I love working with students because their style of storytelling is so fresh and current," Wiggins says. "I really wanted that to be evident in our version of this show. Since students were heavily involved in all aspects of this show, creatively and technically, I wanted this story to be close to them."

"This show answers the question “Who gets to tell whose stories?” This cast owns this show, so even if audiences have seen this production a dozen times, they have never seen anything like this. It’s pretty special."

CCM's Musicals Series presents Once On This Island on March 28-30, 2024, at Patricia Corbett Theater. Purchase tickets online through the CCM Box Office. 

Once On This Island

Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Based Upon The Novel "My Love, My Love" By Rosa Guy 

Originally Directed and Choreographed on Broadway by Graciela Daniel 
Playwrights Horizons, Inc. Produced ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Off-Braodway In 1990 
Originally Production On Broadway By The Shubert Organization, Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. 
Suntory International Corporation and James Walsh, In Association With Playwrights Horizons

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Once On This Island will last approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes, with no intermission

  • Director | Torie Wiggins, Alumni Guest Artist 
  • Choreographer | Julia Schick*
  • Music Director | Casey Reed*
  • Scenic Designer | Mark Halpin
  • Lighting Designer | Jessica Drayton*
  • Costume Designer | Erin Donnelly*
  • Sound Designer | Patrick Kiernan*
  • Wig & Make-Up Designer | Tiara Jones*
  • Production Stage Manager | Katie Reus*
  • Technical Director | Lukas Hummeldorf*
  • Props Manager | Amber Slater*
  • Intimacy Director| Chaz Walcott
  • Fight Coordinator | k. Jenny Jones

*CCM Student

  • Ti Moune | Erin Morton
  • Daniel | Peter Neureuther
  • Asaka | Julia Schick
  • Agwe | Essence Bell
  • Erzulie | Annalise Prentiss
  • Papa Ge | Sean Polk II
  • Mama Euralie | Indya Lincicome
  • Tonton Julian | Anargha Pal
  • Andrea Deveraux | Kristen Das
  • Daniel’s Father | Franco Valerga
  • Armand (Ancestor) | Maya Sharma
  • Storyteller | Ranease Brown
  • Peasant Ensemble | Ranease Brown, Jonathan Hobbs, Jordyn Jones, Carter Minor, Coty Perno
  • Beauxhomme Ensemble | Grace Capeless, Benjamin Cheng, Monique Churchill, Maya Sharma, Franco Valerga, Sam Yousuf
  • Ti Moune Understudy | Ranease Brown 
  • Daniel Understudy | Benjamin Cheng 
  • Asaka Understudy | Grace Capeless 
  • Agwe Understudy | Jonathan Hobbs 
  • Erzulie Understudy | Monique Churchill 
  • Papa Ge Understudy | Sam Yousuf
  • Tonton Julian Understudy | Coty Perno
  • Mama Euralie Understudy | Jayy Jones
  • Swings | Edin Kebede, Brian Cheung
Processed with Lensa with Magic Correction

Torie Wiggins is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Dramatic Performance (now known as Acting) and has been performing professionally for over 20 years. She has co-adapted and performed a one woman show, Your Negro Tour Guide, at various venues across the country. Her film work includes A Christmas Melody, starring and directed by Mariah Carey; The Old Man and the Gun with Robert Redford and Danny Glover and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron.

She has performed with many local theatres, appearing on the stages at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Human Race Theatre Co., Cincinnati Shakespeare Co., and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. She has also worked with WAM Theatre in The Berkshires and The Resident Acting Co. in New York City. Torie’s directing credits include productions at The Carnegie Theater, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Falcon Theatre and The Human Race Theatre Company, and she has worked as an Intimacy Director for the past 5 years. She is an accomplished voiceover artist, having lent her voice to multiple commercials, and most recently, to Broadway’s &Juliet. Also an accomplished playwright, her play Who All Over There was recently produced as a commission at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati in the 2022-2023 subscription series. Her play, Seen, was selected as a finalist for the AGE Legacy Playwriting Grant.

Torie has worked as a professor of acting and other theatre-related classes at Miami University, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Xavier University. She is so excited to be back at her alma mater!

Performance times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 28
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 29* 
  • 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30 

*ASL interpreting is available during the Friday, March 29 performance


Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village 
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing tickets

Tickets: $36 adult, $20 student, $15 UC faculty/staff, $10 UC student, $5 CCM student; group discounts available

 Experiencing the magic of CCM OnStage has never been easier! Purchase your tickets:

CCM’s Box Office hours are 1-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, and one hour prior to curtain for ticketed performances. Hours subject to change based on the University of Cincinnati calendar. Our Box Office staff is always ready to answer your questions by phone at 513-556-4183 or email at

UC student ticket options

Current UC students can purchase up to two tickets for each CCM OnStage concert and show at the discounted rate of just $10 per ticket; the discounted rate for current CCM students is $5 per ticket. Learn more.

Student discounts do not apply to CCM development fundraising events.

Directions and parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. For detailed driving directions, visit

Parking is available in UC's CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Effective July 1, 2023, all University of Cincinnati Parking Services locations will become cashless. Pay for parking securely with your credit/debit card. All major credit cards accepted.

CCM OnStage patrons can add pre-paid parking to their checkout carts when purchasing tickets. Pre-paid parking is date/performance specific. CCM Garage parking rates for a performance or special event is usually available for $10-15. Learn more about parking at UC's CCM Garage.

For additional information on parking at UC, please visit

Next OnStage

There's more to explore — view CCM's full schedule of major events at

Stay up to date on CCM news and events by subscribing to our Next OnStage email newsletter, which is published every other Wednesday. Visit to sign up for email updates.

Interested in early access to CCM's ticket sales? Join CCMpower and gain advanced access 2024-25 ticket sales. CCMpower members also receive 10% off general ticket prices for the full year. Learn more about CCMpower membership benefits.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit

Featured image at the top: A promotional graphic for CCM's production of Once On This Island. Design by Mikki Graff.

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