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Once on This Island

This Caribbean-flavored retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid features a beautiful and uplifting score by Ahrens and Flaherty, and has won Tony Awards in both its original and revival productions. On a small island in the Caribbean, a wager is made among the gods as to whether Love or Death is ultimately more powerful. At the center of the wager is the orphan girl TiMoune, who saves a handsome, wealthy young man after a car crash, and who becomes determined to win his love in return. The customs of his privileged class of people would reject such a match, and the poignant ending of the story is closer to Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale than many versions of this story. And yet the overall mood of the show is upbeat and infectiously happy.


The MTWichita production, with sets designed by J Branson, gave the colorful impression of a Caribbean children’s book, with vibrant colors and stylized designs. The simple unit set includes a full-stage backdrop (54’ wide by 26’ high), augmented with a series of smaller pieces, including a tropical ground row, a large gate to the community, and hanging fishnet decor for Daniel’s bedroom.

  • Built: 1998

  • Movement: Fly /actor motivated

  • Offstage space: Minimal

  • Number of Trucks: * 1-26’ ryder type box

  • # Line sets used: ~5

  • Groundrow: Yes, unit set

  • Portals: No

  • Load-in crew: 8-10

  • Load-in time: 8+ hours

  • Show crew: 1-carp / 1-elec / 1-prop

  • Fly crew: 1-2

*See Space requirements for Logistic Requirements


Built in 1998 for adult professional cast. When each Storyteller becomes a specific character, they add additional pieces. When they become Gods, they have large, light-weight headdresses that make them seem more godlike and imposing. Can pack for shipment in 26′ rental truck. Masks and costumes by Shawn Adrian DeCou.

  • Built: 1998

  • Supported cast: Cast of 14

  • Shipping: 1-gondola

  • Alterations: Some 

  • Principal size range: Small to X-Large

  • # Ensemble Bottoms: N/a

  • # Ensemble Tops: N/a

  • Shoes: None

  • Wigs: None


Built: 1998

Offstage space: Minimal

# of road boxes: 1 plus loose pieces

Furniture: None

Expendables: None

Specialty Items: As per script

Individual items for rent: None


  • Built: 1998

  • # of drops: 3

  • Types of goods: Muslin / paneled drape

  • Size range: 54’x26’

  • Shipping: 1-hamper