Once On This Island plays the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall from Nov. 19-24. Winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Once On This Island is the sweeping, universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

The groundbreaking vision of two-time Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live) conjures up “a place where magic is possible and beauty is apparent for all to see!” (The Huffington Post). With a score that bursts with life from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, the Tony Award-winning songwriters of Anastasia and Ragtime, Once On This Island is a timeless testament to theater’s unlimited possibilities.

Gather around for “Once On This Island”—the musical NY1 hails as “exhilarating theater! It’s impossible to resist!” And where the timeless power of theatre brings us together, moves our hearts and helps us weather the storm.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Kyle Ramar Freeman, who plays Asaka for this exclusive Hotspots interview. 

When did the performing bug take a hold of you? 

I was about 8 years old in elementary school when I decided I wanted to be a performer. When I saw people perform I saw freedom, and I wanted that freedom. It turns out I was pretty good at it, so I stuck with it. 

What was your first professional/paid gig(s)?

I did a play in the 7th grade called “Defining Code Red,” and it was about a murder that happened at a middle school. It was the first time I worked with adult actors in a professional space. 

When did you know performing would be your career?

I feel like probably after the performance I just told you about. It just made me realize that this was definitely the thing I wanted to do. I wanted to inspire people to think and learn. 

How did you get cast in in “Once on this Island”?

I went to an open call. I saw it on Broadway a year earlier, and I said to myself that I wanted to do the tour. For a year I manifested it to happen. I learned the music, etc. and the morning they announced the tour I had friends calling me. I went to the audition and did my best. I had three auditions after that and then I got the call that I was cast. 

You are playing a female role. Is this the first time this happened in “Once,” and what’s your thoughts on that? 

Yes, this is the first time it’s happened and I love it. I love theater because I can be other people. I wear a dress, have make up on, and I am so happy to do it; it’s a blast!

Besides this role, what has been your favorite role?

I loved playing Horton in Seussical, because it was my first lead role. 

What’s your dream/fantasy role?

I would love to create a character from the ground up. Something that’s lovely and can inspire people. 

You are a Miami boy, are you happy to be performing in Florida? 

Yes, I am a native Floridian. I get to go back to Straz Center as I went to Tampa to compete in Florida Thespian competitions all through High School. Now I finally get to perform on the main stage. I am very excited about it! 

What should our readers expect from the touring company of “Once on this Island”?

You should expect a stage of beautiful black and brown people telling a story that is universal. It’s a story about love, forgiveness and hope. You get to go on this journey that is amazing and I promise you will love. 

For more information on Kyle follow him at:

Performances of Once On This Island are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which start at $41, may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827), in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at