January 21, 2010
Senior Nathan Comstock (foreground) is joined by the rest of the cast in singing "The World Was Dancing," one of the selections from The College of Wooster's presentation of "Songs for a New World."
WOOSTER, Ohio - "Songs for a New World," a lively collection of works by composer Jason Robert Brown, comes to The College of Wooster's Freedlander Theatre (329 E. University St.) this weekend (Jan. 22-23). Performances begin at 8:15 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday evening. General admission tickets are $9. Tickets for senior citizens, faculty, staff, and non-College of Wooster
students are $6.
All 16 selections relate to a particular moment of crisis, according to Carrie DeLapp-Culver, visiting assistant professor of theatre at Wooster and director of the production. "The characters are relating what led to that watershed moment," she said. "For example, in the first act, a song titled, 'Just One Step,' spotlights a woman standing on the ledge of a high-rise apartment building contemplating suicide as she recounts the details of her troubled relationship with her husband."
In another scene, a couple that had separated many years ago has a chance encounter, and the two reminisce about where they have been and what they have done. Ultimately they decide that parting was a mistake, and that they would give back everything to be reunited. Other scenes portray critical moments in leadership as unnamed characters with vague connections to historical figures
reflect on the consequences of the decision they are about to make.
Each piece is self-contained, but transitional music links them together like a continuous song cycle. The cabaret-style production consists of two acts, each with eight musical selections, several of which contain explicit language. The conductor is Toni Shreve; the scene and lighting designer is David Tidwell; the sound designer is Chuck Findley; and the stage manager is George Myatt. The costumes were designed by Charlene Gross.
Nine Wooster students - five women and four men - make up the cast, and DeLapp-Culver is anxious for them to share their musical talents. "The show, which opened off Broadway in 1986, has a special place in the musical reparatory with a style of music similar to what one might hear in a show like 'Wicked,'" she said. "It conveys a theme of community, reminding us that when crises occur, we're not alone; we can look to others for help."
For additional information about "Songs for a New World," or to order tickets, contact the box office at 330-263-2241.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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