PENN YAN — Penn Yan Middle School Drama Club students will retell the classic “Little Mermaid” fairy tale musically, through their production of “Once on This Island JR.,” beginning March 5.

“Once on This Island JR.” is an adaptation of the popular Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Little Mermaid,” which is set in the Caribbean. The story follows Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a young man from a wealthy family. When Daniel is returned to his land, the gods who rule the island guide Ti Moune on a quest to test the strength of her love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and death.

The Penn Yan Middle School Drama Club will present a streamed recording of the MTI Broadway Junior production “Once on this Island JR.” at 7 p.m. March 5-6 and at 2 p.m. March 7. Visit the Penn Yan Central School District or Penn Yan Middle School websites to find the free ticket link to view this production. It is recommended you acquire access to this link prior to the show date and time of the showing you would like to see, which can be done starting Feb. 26.

Directed by Rebekah Prine, Jessica Rhodes, and Rhiannon LyonSmith, the student cast members include eighth-graders Irelynd Densmore (Ti Moune), Maihue Miranda-Wiltberger (Agwe-Goddess of Water), Jenna Reynolds (Erzulie-Goddess of Love), Aidan Dallos (Papa Ge-God of Death), Madisyn Richter (Mama Euralie), Logan Miller (Tonton Julian & Daniel’s Father), Leah Prather (Ensemble & Dance Captain) and Rebecca Hayes (Ensemble); seventh-graders Ella Kinsey (Asaka-Mother Earth), Owen Droney (Daniel), Abigail Fischer (Ensemble & Gatekeeper) and Zoe Zeigler (Ensemble); and sixth-graders Nina Reid (Little Ti Moune), Zoee Comstock (Andrea), Cady Brady (Ensemble) and Addison Gillette (Ensemble).

“This year has brought many changes into our lives and has taken many of the bright spots out of our school year,” said Rebekah Prine, the show’s director and producer, “but, thankfully, the PYMS musical was able to continue to be a bright spot for our theater students, their families and our community. We are grateful to both the PYCSD and PYMS administration, and PYCSD Board of Education for allowing the PYMS Drama Club to produce this year’s musical production of ‘Once on this Island JR.’ while following social distancing, masking and sanitizing guidelines. We are also grateful for the kindness and hospitality of the Wellspring Fellowship for providing our club a place to rehearse and perform.”

“Once on this Island JR.” is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International. MTI supplied all authorized performance materials.

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