In Part 4 of a series of interviews with the cast of Once on This Island, meet Tiara N. Whaley.
Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform before on our local stages. Where did you get your training?
Tiara: Hello! My name is Tiara N. Whaley, and I am a Harford County based actress. Most recently you may have just seen me in Riverside Center Dinner Theatre’s production of 9 to 5. I have also performed locally at Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music, as well as Six Flags America. I hold a B.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Musical Theatre from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Feel free to take a peek at my resume.
Why did you want to be part of this production?
When I was in my third year of college, my voice teacher gave me “Waiting for Life” to work on, and I fell in love with the song immediately. It has been an audition song for me ever since. So when the opportunity arose to audition for the show, I was ecstatic.
Have you ever appeared in a production of Once on This Island before and who did you play? What makes this production so special?
I have never been in Once on This Island before, so if I’m blessed to do this again I must say this is an amazing first time. We are really embracing the fact that at the end of the day this musical is about sharing a beautiful story.
How would you describe the score that Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written?
As a cast, I think we have collectively decided this is a Haitian operetta. The music is never ceasing and constantly driving the story. It fills you with laughter, tears, and hope. Not to mention it is completely infectious. I guarantee you will not leave the theatre without at least one song stuck in your head
Have you appeared in any other musical written by Stephen and Lynn? If yes, which musical and who did you play?
This is my first Stephen and Lynn musical, but Ragtime and Seussical are on my list.
Who do you play in Once on This Island?
I play the role of Ti Moune. I think what makes her such a beautiful character is that anyone can relate to her. On her journey, the audience watches transform from a curious little girl to a young woman who decides her own destiny despite the nay-sayers.
Tell me about your big number solos and what do we learn about your character as you are singing the song?
In Ti Moune’s biggest solo, “Waiting for Life,” the audience gets a glimpse of how restless she is to find her purpose in life.
What are some of the themes of the show that today’s audiences can relate to?
Once on This Island consists of a few stories within stories, and what I love about that the show covers so many themes. The themes of love versus death, racial and socio-economic prejudices, and learning forgiveness are all found in this one show
Why should families bring their kids and grand kids to see Once on This Island?
The story is so much fun and very fast paced. All 90 minutes of it is extremely engaging. And I cannot say enough how great the music is!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Once on This Island at Creative Cauldron?
Once on This Island plays through May 31, 2015 at Creative Cauldron –410 South Maple Ave, Falls Church, VA in the Pearson Building Square Building at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Lee Highway (Washington Boulevard). Performances are Friday & Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 2 PM & 7 PM. For tickets, purchase them online.
Caroline Simpson’s review of Once on This Island on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Meet the Cast of ‘Once on This Island’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 1: Malcolm Lee.
Meet the Cast of ‘Once on This Island’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 2: Ian Anthony Coleman.
Meet the Cast of ‘Once on This Island’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 3: Carl Williams.
Meet the Cast of ‘Once on This Island’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 4: Tiara N. Whaley.