In the Harvard-Radcliffe Drama Club’s upcoming production of Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World,” a small and talented team has come together in order to create a heartfelt version of a distinctly unusual show. This genreless piece does not set out to tell a single story, but instead delivers a chain of vignettes that are conveyed through song and tied together through overarching themes.
“It’s certainly different. I think that it will end up feeling almost like a fashion show of musical theatre,” cast member Amy K. Sparrow ’15 says. “It sort of feels like a concert with a theme.”
The show offers an extremely varied array of settings and characters: the stories range from that of a captain on a Spanish ship in the 13th century to a young man from the Bronx who dreams of becoming a basketball star.
“You get to see 16 wild and sometimes crazy characters all thrown into these intense moments of flux…struggling with how to make a big, life-changing decision,” director Susanna B. Wolk ’14 says. “There are some that are super relatable and some that are kind of fantastical and crazy, and I think that you get the whole spectrum of human experience.”
This will be Wolk’s fifth time directing a show here at Harvard. Alongside her is an extremely experienced team and a talented cast of nine singers and actors. “There’s such a good variety of voices, and just so many strong performers. It will be a really impressive show,” cast member Alex J. Raun ’17 says. “I’ve never been so excited about the music in a show.”
Indeed, Brown’s challenging yet beautiful score is one of the highlights of “Songs of a New World.” “I think that the music is absolutely beautiful, and there are so many moments where in the rehearsal process we’ll be in tears because of how moved we are watching one another perform,” cast member Kyra A. Atekwana ’14 says.
The show will run from April 10 to 12 in the Adams Pool Theater.