Meet the Cast of ‘Once on This Island’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 6: Jade Jones

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In Part 6 of a series of interviews with the cast of Once on This Island, meet Jade Jones.

Jade Jones
Photo by Billy Maloy.

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?

Jade: Hello, my name is Jade Jones! You may have seen me in the Helen Hayes nominated production of HAIR at The Keegan Theatre last year, or at the Capital Fringe Festival passed out in the corner of the gypsy tent bar. I also won the title of Signature Idol at Signature’s 25th anniversary open house.

Why did you want to be part of this production?

I was really, really excited about the potential of getting to work with Matt Conner again. I first met him during the Signature Idol competition; he was the host, and I was immediately intrigued by him. I got my first opportunity to work with him during Elmer Gantry at Signature. I saw Stephen and Matt’s production of The Turn of the Screw at Creative Cauldron and I fell in love with the intimacy of the space. It’s the perfect place to tell the story of Once On This Island.

Have you ever appeared in a production of Once on This Island before and who did you play? What makes this production so special? 

One of the reasons why this production is so special to me is because it is the first production of Once on this Island that I’ve worked on. The cast is also very special to me. I really didn’t know anyone in the cast with the exception of Ian Coleman, and now we’ve morphed into a small family.

Island_ImageHow would you describe the score that Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written?

Unique, and very witty. The Caribbean influence is especially pleasing. You can’t help but smile when you hear this music.

Have you appeared in any other musical written by Stephen and Lynn? If yes, which musical and who did you play?

I played Mayzie LaBird in Suessical in college. Another example of a unique and witty score!

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’m portraying the role of Mama Euralie in this production. I relate to her very much because of my maternal instinct. I’ve been told several times that I have an “old soul,” and I definitely have a bond with the two girls who play Little TiMoune. Mama Euralie is also a chronic worrier, so there’s that as well.

Tell me about your big number solo and what do we learn about your character as you are singing the song?

Mama Euralie’s big number is “TiMoune.” During the song I am expressing my fears and worries of what may happen to TiMoune if she goes on her journey to find Daniel. I think Mama is also projecting fears onto TiMoune that she may have had to confront when she was her age. She’s reflecting on her past and blinded by the image of Little TiMoune, making it extremely difficult for her to see her daughter as a young woman.

What are some of the themes of the show that today’s audiences can relate to?

There are some very relevant themes and in this show. There’s an interesting dynamic happening between the peasants and the wealthy citizens of the island. Family, innocence, and of course, love, are some of the other prominent themes in this story.

Why should families bring their kids and grand kids to see Once on This Island?

Diversity in the theatre. It’s not every day you see an all African-American cast, and you learn a lot about culture in this piece.

What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Once on This Island at Creative Cauldron?

Life. I want to give them life.

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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.

LINKS
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.

 

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.