by Gerry McIntyre
I can honestly say that Once On This Island changed my life!
I was fortunate enough to be in the original Broadway company. And since that moment, it has always returned to me like a loyal friend. When on Broadway, the director asked me to be the dance captain—which means she entrusted me with teaching new company members, and keeping the show in good shape. I never had any desire to direct or choreograph, but being given that job opened many doors and I have been blessed to be working as a director/choreographer ever since.
Once On This Island returned again after Hurricane Katrina. I went to New Orleans to direct and choreograph teenagers who were displaced by the storm and trying to acclimate themselves back into a normal life. The show healed these kids. The power of this show brought them back to life, and they realized they had power. They taught me so much! I thought I was there to help them, but they taught me more than I could even imagine.
My father recently passed away, and guess what? Once On This Island returned! It is the best therapist I’ve ever had! Lynn Ahrens’ lyrics in the show are resounding in my life:
“So I hope that you will tell this tale tomorrow.
It will help your heart remember and relive.
It will help you feel the anger and the sorrow
My wish for you is simple. Just sit back and listen, and be open to every emotion which the show brings.
This is why I tell the story!
Gerry McIntyre, Director
This production is sponsored by:
Richard K. and Shirley S. Hemingway Foundation