Matthew Callas as Guy & Kennedy Florence as Girl.
(CINCINNATI, March 10, 2022) – Xavier University Theatre continues the 2021-22 season with its production of the Broadway hit musical ONCE. With music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and book by Enda Walsh, the musical is based on the award-winning motion picture written and directed by John Carney. The show runs March 25 through 27 in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Theatre.
On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolve into a powerful but complicated love story. Underscored by emotionally charged music and featuring all the magical songs from the critically acclaimed film, this beautiful and captivating show draws audiences in from the very first note. Once is the only show with music to win an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Olivier Award and a Tony Award.
Assistant Director Jo Dearman believes the music — which is performed entirely by the cast — will provide a moving experience for audiences. “In Once, the music conveys feelings we don’t get to hear the characters say,” she said. “I love feeling the humanity of the story through the music and its instruments.”
The intimacy of the set design — which seats audience members onstage with the performers — adds to that experience, according to junior Emma Hunt, who plays Reza. “This show tells such an intimate story about love and music that experiencing it in a close setting is almost necessary,” she said. “It helps the audience connect more closely with the characters.”
The cast for ONCE includes first-year students Matthew Callas (Guy), EJ Cooper (Eamon), Emma Halloran (Baruska) and Richie Pokrywka (Da); sophomores Casey Johnson (Emcee) and Joe Mitchell (Bank Manager); juniors Kennedy Florence (Girl), Emma Hunt (Reza), Dylan Waters (Svec) and Chancellor Waye (Andrej); senior Kertu Bell (Ex-Girlfriend); and community members Anna Chamberlain (Ivonka) and Andrew Leonard (Billy).
The show is directed by Stephen Skiles (who also acts as producer), with senior Jo Dearman, sophomore Tessa D’Errico and junior David Ludwig serving as assistant directors. Xan Jeffery provides vocal direction. Ben Chamberlain is the music director with junior Olivia Wakefield the assistant music director. Senior Peyton Wright provides choreography. The design team includes Joe Leonard (set designer/technical director), Jessica Pitcairn (costume designer), Joe Beumer (lighting designer), Kevin Semancik (sound designer) and junior Anna Snyder (assistant costume designer). The production manager is Emi Suarez. The stage manager is senior Josie Daley, and the assistant stage managers are first-year student Mattie Cieplak and sophomore Renee Maloney.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 25 and 26, as well as at 2 p.m. on March 26 and 27. Tickets are available now. They are $15 each for adults and $10 each for Xavier students, faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit www.showtix4u.com/events/xaviertheatre or call 513-745-3939.