In Part 5 of a series of interviews with the cast of Once on This Island, meet Avia Fields.
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?
Avia: Hello! My name is Avia Fields and I am very excited to be a part of this production of Once on this Island. I have recently performed in Spring Awakening with Red Branch Theatre Company and The Waiting Room at The University of Maryland, College Park. If you’re an active community theatre goer then you may have seen me in All Shook Up with Rockville Musical Theatre or HAIR at Laurel Mill Playhouse. I received a B.S. in Operations Management, B.S in Information Systems as well as a B.A. in Theatre at the University of Maryland College Park but a lot of what I have learned (in theatre) has come from my active participation in community theatre while attending the University.
Why did you want to be part of this production?
Once on this Island is such a beautiful story with mesmerizing music so when I heard Creative Cauldron would be doing it, I had to audition. I have performed in Once on this Island in the past and was excited to have an opportunity to possibly do it again with Creative Cauldron.
Have you ever appeared in a production of Once on This Island before and who did you play? What makes this production so special?
Once on this Island was the first production in which I performed in the DC Metro area. I had the opportunity to play Ti Moune which was a great experience and now I get to play Andrea! It is interesting to experience those two different worlds.This production is so special because the cast and crew has taken this very intimate space and created this amazing show that will really engage the audience as if they are on the island themselves. Also, we didn’t have a long rehearsal period but the cast has become very close, like a family which is so appropriate for the story, or shall I say, stories we are telling. The cast is so talented, full of energy and a joy to watch and work with.
How would you describe the score that Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written?
I would describe this score as exciting, and beautifully haunting. The score takes you on this journey through laughter, love, grief and hope in such a flawless way. You never really forget that you are on an island because that rhythm is woven throughout every scene.
Have you appeared in any other musical written by Stephen and Lynn? If yes, which musical and who did you play?
I have never appeared in any other musical written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens but I would love to do Ragtime at some point in my life.
Who do you play in Once on This Island and how do you relate to your character? Do you share any similar traits? Which character is so much like you and why and how?
I play Andrea in this production of Once on this Island. I see Andrea as being very honest and “real.” She is able to fulfill her purpose while keeping it classy and to the point. I think we are similar in that we are both down to earth and aware. Therefore, I think I have the sophistication of Andrea but the spirited nature and determination of Ti Moune so it is a mix of the two.
Tell me about your big solos and what do we learn about your character as you are singing the songs?
My numbers take place at the ball when Ti Moune is revealed for the first time to the grands hommes. She can come off as snobby or mean but I think it is really Andrea’s way of showing her disapproval for Daniel’s behavior of which both she and Ti Moune are being hurt.
What are some of the themes of the show that today’s audiences can relate to?
I believe that Once on this Island is focused around the importance of telling your stories and keeping them alive; learn from your mistakes and grow in the future. This is very relatable in today’s communities and I believe will continue to be so. Within this story is this strong theme of love conquering death but ultimately becomes this fascinating paradox between the two. These are two things that people deal with every day and it will truly touch their hearts as they experience this journey with us.
Why should families bring their kids and grand kids to see Once on This Island?
Once on this Island is colorful, fun and has brilliant music. Kids and adults alike will have a joyous time! Everyone should come out and share this experience with us!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Once on This Island at Creative Cauldron?
I hope audiences will leave feeling excited about the journey they just took and that they just have fun and enjoy themselves throughout.
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.
Meet the Cast of ‘One on This Island’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 5: Avia Fields.