Augustana College presents pop-rock musical “Island Song” in its Black Box Theatre

Local News

The Augustana College Theatre Arts Department will present the pop-rock musical “Island Song” on Thursday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m., in the Honkamp Blackbox Theatre, inside the Brunner Theatre Center (3750 7th Ave., Rock Island).

The pop-rock musical “Island Song” will be performed at Augustana College’s Black Box Theatre Oct. 21-24.

The show — with lyrics by Sam Carner, music by Derek Gregor, and story by Carner, Gregor and Marlo Hunter — is an off-beat dramedy with a kinetic pop-rock score. “Island Song” takes us through a year in the lives of five 20- and 30-somethings sharing a city and the chain of surprising, poignant, and partially random connections that bring them into each other’s spheres at moments that become pivotal, according to an Augustana release. As the city pulses around them, they all must work through their own complex relationships with ambition, distraction, and the search for connection.

“Island Song” is directed by Augustana senior Brycen Witt. When asked what audiences could expect from the production, Witt explained, “I can’t remember the last time I was involved in or even saw a show like this. Island Song really is a can’t miss event.” 

The cast features Augustana students AJ Weber, Ariela Policastro, Sarah Walton, Brian Heffernan, Julie Tarling, and Camryn MacLean.

The production team includes Lindsey Edwards, who serves as the assistant director and choreographer, music director Andrew Bradshaw, stage manager Synth Gonzalez, assistant stage manager John Flannery, lighting designer Riley Scranton, costume designer Amber Johnson, and props designer Zach Misner.

Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, among’s 12 Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know, won the Richard Rodgers Award and the John Wallowitch Award for songwriters under 40, and Sam won the Kleban Prize for “Most Promising Librettist.” Their songs, which have garnered 11 MAC nominations for “Best Song” / “Best Comedic Song” with one win, are performed in hundreds of venues around the world every year and have been sung on all seven continents (including Antarctica).

Derek Gregor, left, and Sam Carner are the team behind “Island Song.”

Their musical UNLOCK’D was produced Off-Broadway at the Duke Theater in the summer of 2013. That musical was produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007, where it won the “Best of the Fest” audience prize and received Talkin’ Broadway citations for “Outstanding New Musical” and “Outstanding Original Theatrical Score.”

Their musical ISLAND SONG was produced at New York’s Adirondack Theatre Festival (“tuneful, lyrically smart, and full of heart… an uncountable number of bright, funny lyrics… superb” – Albany Times Union), the Bloomington Playwrights Project (“mesmerizing… vibrant, supercharged” – Herald Times), and London’s Rose Bruford College, with productions in 2017-18 at Oakland University, London’s Hidden Theatre, and more.

“Island Song” has been performed in workshop or concert at the Balagan Theatre in Seattle, the Indiana Festival of Theatre, Princeton University, Western Carolina University, (le) Poisson Rouge in New York City, Crawfish in Tokyo (in Japanese), the Comedie Nation in Paris, London’s St. James Studio, and many more.

Tickets for this weekend’s performances are $10, $7 for seniors, and $5 for faculty/staff/and non-Augustana students, and free for Augie students with ID. Tickets are available by calling 309-794-7306, visiting, or at the door.

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