Local, U.S. students to present musical love story in Monteverde

A musical theatre company will perform the Tony Award-nominated musical, “Once on This Island,” from Friday through Sunday in the Costa Rican premiere of the version translated in Spanish.

The productions will be in Santa Elena near Monteverde.

In the spirit of collaboration, students from three local schools and some students from the United States will make up the entire cast of the musical, a key objective of Far Corners Community Musical Theatre.

“Far Corners Community Musical Theatre was founded to provide opportunities for youth groups in communities around the world through the committed participation in the performing arts,” said a press release announcing the musical.

Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, the company has established three theaters in China, Mozambique and Costa Rica, with the intention of providing arts education to students in remote areas of the world that may not have such classes.

Since it was founded in Costa Rica in 2005, the company has performed bilingual versions of “Oliver!,” “The Little Shop of Horrors” and “Urinetown! The Musical.”

In addition, the company has offered workshops, theatre camps and internships to local and international students, ages 12-18, over the years.

Often compared to “The Little Mermaid,” “Once on This Island” is set in the Caribbean and tells the love story of a young peasant woman, Ti Muone, and the young rich man, Daniel, she rescues after a shipwreck. The love-struck couple must overcome issues of class and race in order to be together.

Aware that these themes and settings are present in the community, the company picked this musical in order to make the young international cast comfortable dealing with these issues in their own life, the release said.

“Monteverde, beautiful and serene as it is, is not immune to these themes, and we feel it is vitally important that our students feel open to discuss them in a safe space and within the context of this production,” said Far Corners on its Web site.

The musical will run for one weekend only at the Sala de Teatro in Centro Commercial Plaza Monteverde in Santa Elena at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are 800 colons for children and 1,500 for adults, and can be purchased at the Cámara de Turismo, Souvenir Woods and Café Common Cup in Santa Elena, Heladería Sabores in Cerro Plano, and the Cooperativa de Mujeres Artesanas de Santa Elena.

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