Songs for a New World helps actors grow, step into others’ shoes


Caroline Knapp, Staff Writer

Songs for a New World challenged its actors while teaching them more about themselves through its focus on the decision-making process. From March 9 through March 11, select musical theater students performed “not a typical show. It [was] kind of a snapshot in one part of a person’s journey that [captured] their pivotal decision,” said Averey Campbell, a sophomore cast member. “The show is about a moment in different people’s lives when they need to make a decision.  All these decisions ultimately lead up to each narrative’s new world or new beginning.”

Through this show, cast members were able to grow as actors and learn a lot more about themselves through telling these stories.

Campbell believes that this show is important because it is about a moment in people’s lives when they need to make a decision, “people recognize their own methods of making decisions when they see it, and that might help guide them in their decisions later on.”

In terms of the show’s success, Campbell believes that “what went well, aside from the final product, was the fact that it took a lot of growing from a lot of different people, and areas where [they] might not have been challenged in, [they] were suddenly challenged in.”

She also noticed her personal growth over the course of the show and commented that it “influenced [her] to read beyond the words, really look for subtext, and know that feelings and motions and motivations behind your character are always more than just what the words are,”

Senior Isobel Ramsey noted that the show brought very real topics to the table, making it especially relatable.

“We were doing one rehearsal where I was on vocal rest so I wasn’t actually singing, but I was really getting into it and I started crying, like tears were coming down my face,” Ramsey said. “It brings really real emotions to the table. A lot of the songs do, they are very relatable.”

This element of the show helped the audience connect more with the actors because they felt as if they could see themselves in the characters.

“I think all good shows help people to understand something that they didn’t understand before, and I hope that we got people to understand a little better other people and their situations,” Ramsey said.

The actors’ growth during the show was also significant. Ramsey commented that the show “got [her] to dig down a lot farther than usual for shows,”

This show was important not only in the growth of the actors, but because of the sense of community it built.

“Seeing the cast develop into a true ensemble from where they began was amazing to witness,” said theater teacher Brandon Riley, who directed the show.

Having a small cast helped build a more personal sense of community within the production. Riley believes it was “particularly important because it was different than any show most of the students had done or seen before.”

Although “this show had more challenges than any other show [he] had done at GCAA,” Riles said the students handled them with grace.

“This show was a good reminder for me of why I accepted this job, to help students reach towards their full potential,” he said.