Each year Malden High School’s Play Production puts on a musical. This year the musical was Once on This Island. Once on This Island takes place in Haiti, and follows a young girl Ti Moune as the Gods guide her through her journey to find love. Unlike others on the island Ti Moune believes that love can reach beyond any social, economic, and cultural difference. I felt so fortunate to experience this show because of its inspiring message that was so relatable to many. The cast did an amazing job, capturing the hearts of every audience member; this was evident in the roaring applause and standing ovation at the end of the show.
It was noted, that Play Production and the Haitian Culture Club worked diligently together to make sure that the show was as authentic as it could be. While watching the show, I couldn't help but notice the appreciation of the Haitian culture throughout the play. The Haitian Culture Club members were very involved in all aspects of the show. They put forth their knowledge of Caribbean culture to help Play Production pick costumes, design the set, and check the historical pieces of the show. It displayed how important it was for them to portray the show as one that was both culturally and historically accurate.
This is a combination of two of the things that I love most about Malden High School. The fact that students with different interests were able to come together to make something beautiful. And also how the MHS staff and student body do everything in their ability to make sure that every culture is accepted and celebrated. This is why we felt that it was so important to expand the Blue and Gold’s coverage of Once on This Island, because it was so much more than a high school musical. It was a performance that was so personal to a lot of the members of the Malden community, as they could relate to the Caribbean culture that was presented by the show.
As we were bringing everything together for the coverage of the play we thought that we would be able to link Once on This Island with other things that have been going on with the news on a national scale. Within our selection of articles on Once on This Island, we also decided to feature an opinion piece about Donald Trump’s decision to force Haitians that are in the United States through Temporary Protected Status to leave the country. After the natural disaster that destroyed most of Haiti in 2010, 59,000 Haitians were granted TPS and were able to come to the United States to create a new lives for themselves. The Haitian population in our city has grown in recent years becoming a large part of the diversity of Malden. It is important for us to acknowledge this change in policy because it has the potential to affect many in the Malden community.
We felt that it was imperative to report this adverse piece of world news alongside the uplifting coverage of the production of Once on This Island to display that we might not always notice this but Malden is a city that is one of a kind. Malden encourages diversity, encourages the unity of people while never forgetting where you came from. We wanted people that may be affected by recent news to know that they have a whole city backing them up. Once on This Island is just one example of the many clubs, events, and more that Malden has to offer for those that want to share their culture with other people.
The overall message of Once on This Island is that the power of love has the ability to bring very different groups of people together. I can’t help but connect that concept to the mentality of the City of Malden. Malden thrives off of its ability to include all different cultures within the community, making this city one of a kind.