'Songs for a New World' in Carson

CARSON - The Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University Dominguez Hills will present a student performance of the award-winning musical, "Songs for a New World," directed by Dinora Walcott, Theatre Arts Lecturer, on Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 5 and 12 at 2 p.m., in the Edison Studio Theatre in the University Theatre Complex.The show is a musical revue, which Walcott describes as having no written dialog between songs, differing from musicals, which do combine dialog with songs. "Instead of speaking their lines, the actors are singing them," said Walcott. "The actors in 'Songs for a New World' portray different characters in each song, but their characters are tied together by themes within the songs. You can tell why the actor is singing a certain selection of songs." Walcott, an actor and director with an M.F.A. from Harvard University, who is new to CSU Dominguez Hills this semester, teaching Theatre 100-Introduction to Theatre, Television and Film, brings her own musicality to the production. "I'm also a musician-a singer and drummer. I love music separate from music on the stage and I love plays. This project seemed like the perfect collaboration of the two worlds I love. That's what drew me to this piece. It's not your average musical. The songs really are a vehicle for telling a story," said Walcott. "It's an intimate personal peek into the characters' lives. The songs deal with change, new beginnings, growth, coming to a crossroads and trying to figure out which way you're going to turn. Instead of monologues, songs tell the story." Providing a broad vocal range for the music and lyrics written by Jason Robert Brown are cast members Robert Adams (baritone), Kareema Anderson (soprano), Adriana Gonzales (alto/mezzo-soprano), and D'Marcus Moon (tenor). "The cast is comprised of all seniors-on the verge of newness. They're all getting ready to take that next step. They can identify with moments when it's down to the wire," said Walcott. The Edison Studio Theatre, which seats 70, provides audience members with an intimate theatre setting. "I love black-box theatre because the audience is able to connect with the characters, really, because of proximity," said Walcott. "You're able to walk away with a different experience." Further propelling the performance is a live on-stage trio of professional musicians, including Hsin Yi Chang, an accompanist for the CSU Dominguez Hills Department of Music (piano), and alumni Ryan Jefferson (drums) and Manuel Quintero (bass guitar). Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. Seating is limited, so make reservations early. For more ticket information and to purchase tickets online, visit csudh.edu/theatre/tickets.htm. For other payment options, call the box office at (310) 243-3589.

********** Published: December 2, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 33