Meet the Cast of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Allison Jones (Ti Moune) Spinning Tree: Debut. Local: Sister Act (Barn Players), Sondheim on Sondheim (Summit Theatre Group). Education: BS in Biology, Alabama A&M University. Allison is so grateful to share the room with this passionate and gracious cast and crew. To her family, friends, and those here along for the journey: thank you for joining us as we tell the story.

 

Angela Hagenbach (Mama Euralie) Spinning Tree: Nine. Angela Hagenbach made her Spinning Tree debut as Lillian Le Fleur in Nine and is thrilled to be back as Mama Euralie in Once on this Island. While authoring the critically acclaimed jazz adaptation of a Lewis Carroll classic, JazzAlice: An Adventure in Wonderland, she placed first runner-up in the International Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition. Two of her compositions are featured in the film Last Will, starring Tatum O’Neal and James Brolin. Hagenbach completed two World Tours as Cultural Jazz Ambassador for the USA and is included in The Great Jazz Singers – The Ultimate Guide by jazz historian Scott Yanow.

 

Granvile O’Neal (TonTon Julian) Spinning Tree: Debut. Granvile’s most recent stage performances were Kansas City Actors Theatre’s I’m Not Rappaport, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre’s Gem of the Ocean, Melting Pot KC’s The Ironing Man and Jacque Gafford’s Grape’s Vine. He was last seen in We Shall Not Be Moved with The Coterie. Granvile serves on the board of The Traditional Music Society and is curator for the Chester C. Owens Sumner Alumni Room which maintains artifacts, memorabilia, and historical information on Sumner High School of Kansas City, Kansas. A graduate of Park College, he is a retiredfirefighterr with the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department. Granvile credits his high school drama teacher, Dr. Edward Eddy, for introducing him to the stage. He would like to thank God, his wife, and Spinning Tree Theatre for the opportunity to continue to satisfy his theatrical appetite.

 

Matthew A. King (Daniel) Spinning Tree: West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Violet, Ain’t Misbehavin’. Matthew is thrilled to be back in Kansas City to be a part of this wonderful company. He would like to thank his incredibly supportive parents and friends for all their love. Credits include EGADS! Theatre: Godspell; Musical Theater Heritage: South Pacific; The Coterie: Once Upon a Mattress; The Living Room: The Death of Cupid; Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre: Ragtime, The King & I; Western Playhouse: Mother Divine; Featured Singer with Royal Caribbean International. BFA, Roosevelt Conservatory Chicago. Matthew is a proud AEA member. www.matthewaking.com

 

Linnaia McKenzie (Asaka) Spinning Tree: Violet, Ain’t Misbehavin. Once on this Island is where it all started for Linnaia. Her professional acting career began after playing the role of Ti Moune in 2010 and she never looked back. A Kansas City native, Linnaia is humbled to return to Spinning Tree after moving to New York in 2015.  Local: New Theater Restaurant, KC Rep, Coterie, Quality Hill Playhouse, Musical Theater Heritage, KC Melting Pot, MET, Living Room and Paul Mesner Puppets. Most recently she played Louise in Ghost the Musical, co-produced by Fulton Theater in PA and Maine State Music Theater. Giving all glory to God for another opportunity to “tell the story.” Thank you for everything, Mom. Love you GG! Social Media: @linnaiachemise

 

Darrington Clark (Papa Ge) Spinning Tree: Debut. Kansas City: Madagascar Live, Garfield the Musical, We Shall Not Be Moved (Coterie) Here Lies Joyland (KC Fringe). Regional: Ghost the Musical, (Circa 21), A Year with Frog and Toad, A Christmas Carol (Children’s Theatre of Madison), Man of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol, Emerging Professional Resident program (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), The Wiz (First Stage). Love and thanks to Dad, Jen, Jay, Donna & Scott and Mitch for the constant inspiration and support. They are why I tell the story!

 

Keshana Cook (Erzulie) Spinning Tree: Debut. Keshana graduated from Wichita State University this past spring with a BFA in Music Theatre. While at WSU she rejoiced as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act, portrayed Matron Mama Morton in Chicago, and received a KCACTF National Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress in a Musical for her work in Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Currently residing in Kansas City, MO, Keshana has most recently performed with Cedar Fair Entertainment and RWS Entertainment Group. She is thrilled to be a part of Once On This Island, a show she has loved and treasured for years.

 

Douglass Walker (Agwe) Spinning Tree: Debut. Douglass is a native of Kansas City, MO and has been singing since age 10. He started singing in church and his love for singing grew from there and transitioned to the stage. Douglass has appeared in 5 Guys Named Moe and A Soldier’s Play with Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City. He has also appeared in local productions of Black NativityLive at the GemBetween Me and God, and Fear of a Ball and Chain. He is thrilled to be a part of this production of Once On This Island. Douglass would like to thank his family for their support. Special thanks to his beautiful wife Melonnie Walker.

 

Morgan Walker (Andrea) Spinning Tree: Debut. Into The Woods, A Spectacular Christmas Show (Musical Theatre Heritage), Junie B. Jones (Theatre for Young America). When she is not in rehearsal, she enjoys dancing at Empire Dance Academy or seeing local theatre. She would like to give a big thanks to her friends, family, and the whole creative team of Once On this Island. Instagram: @reklawnagrom

 

Da’Merius Ford (Armand) Spinning Tree: Debut. Da’Merius is thrilled to be making his Kansas City debut with Spinning Tree Theatre. He received his training from Wichita State University (WSU), earning a BFA in Musical Theatre. Recent roles include Poindexter (Tinker’s Toy Factory), Jesus (Godspell), Sweaty Eddie (Sister Act) and Victor (Smokey Joe’s Café), for which he was nationally recognized by The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Distinguished Performance by an Actor in a Musical. Ever so grateful for the support around him. Enjoy the show. www.dameriusford.com

 

Jahnaya Thomas (Small Girl/Little Ti Moune) Spinning Tree: Debut. Jahnaya is thirteen years old and an eighth-grader at Warrensburg Middle School. Since the age of five, she has been studying dance, theatre and music. She is currently a student at Center Stage Academy of the Performing Arts where she is a member of CS Players competitive theatre team and the CSA competition dance team. Jahnaya recently played the role of the Bullfrog in Honk Jr. Other roles include Scar in Lion King Jr., Donkey in Shrek the Musical Jr., Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast Jr., Sue in My Son Pinocchio Jr., and the orphan Kate in Annie Jr. She has also performed in The Nutcracker since 2015. Jahnaya is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and loves to read and hang out with her friends.

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