Once On This Island … in the round!


On July 1st and 2nd, YDO Kids and the Performing Project team put on yet another spectacular performance. For the eighth summer in a row, this two-week intensive theater program was directed by its now 19-year-old founder Maggie Budzyna. She and her cast and crew of 50+ YDO students took on their biggest challenge yet.

First, they chose a bold, groundbreaking musical, and winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, “Once on This Island.” Then, they decided to deliver this performance “in the round,” creating a space in which the audience is seated on all sides of the stage. This year’s production was a monumental undertaking and was only possible by the rental of an expansive mill space at IndusPAD.

Our kids from ages eight to 18 brought this show to life in just 12 days: to audition, learn their roles, lines, and dances, and rehearse; to help build a full set; to sew costumes; to create props; and to perform the show for the community. This annual program continues to deliver one of the very best musical theater opportunities in our city, and we are proud to be a part of it!

Congratulations to all of this year’s cast and crew. We can’t wait to see what you tackle next summer!

The Performing Project was founded in 2011–in partnership with The Actors Studio of Newburyport, MA and YDO–to give children in Lawrence an experience in the performing arts that may otherwise be out of reach because of, for example, show fees, costume costs, and daily transportation to/from rehearsals.