Theatre Discipline Lead: Shannon Kearns
Just what is Songs For A New World? It's not a play by any typical definition. There is no plot, no book, no real story to be told, only a collection of nineteen songs, all dealing with life crisis and finding the courage to go on in spite of those very crises. Critics have called Songs: "a musical call to personal reflection," "almost a contemporary worship service without dogmatics," and "a freewheeling exploration into the human soul." Composer Jason Robert Brown expected to be a rock star, the next Billy Joel, but he found out things don't always go as planned. Songs was initially designed to be a collection of my cabaret and theatre songs, a way to introduce my writing to the world. But the show became more than that. Somehow, songs that had been written years and miles apart seemed to make sense together; words and melodies that came from different times and places all seemed to add up to one statement. It's about one moment. It's about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back. The moment you think you know where you stand, the things that you're sure of slip from your hand, and you're suddenly a stranger in some completely different land.