As part of a new initiative supporting promising young artists Off-Broadway, The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director), in association with Patricia Hoag Simon, presents a new lab production of Songs for a New World with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Songs for a New World will begin performances tonight (11pm) for 6 performances only August 4 - 12, 2012 at The York Theatre at Saint Peter's including special late-night performances on Fridays for "the show after the show."(Citicorp Building, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue). Directed by Bethany Christine Elkin (I Love a Piano) and music direction by Justin Fischer (Young Frankenstein), the four-member cast will feature Diana Buchwald (An American Tragedy), Ben Garrett (Rags), Krista Paolella (Edges: A Song Cycle) and Rafael Rodriguez (Evita).
Songs for a New World resonates now more than ever. As the generation of the New Millennium we were told we could be anything we wanted to be. We were encouraged to dream big, because the world was at our fingertips. However, faced with economic challenges we found ourselves just struggling to survive, let alone thrive. We have found ourselves navigating through a new and uncharted world. We cannot be afraid or let the fear of failure keep us from charging through life's challenges. We must take responsibility for our own happiness. We must "hold on, hold fast" and allow the music of our souls to propel and transport us through life's greatest moments. The moment is here…and the time is now
"I have a big love of this show and of the WPA Theatre, where it originated - produced by the extraordinary Kyle Renick," stated Pat Hoag Simon. "To think that Jason Robert Brown was 20 years old when he wrote these songs and that he and his director, Daisy Prince, assembled such a cast! She went on to say, "The original production with Billy Porter, Jessica Molansky, Andrea Burns and Brooks Ashmanskas ran for a little under a month at the WPA but the resulting cast recording became a phenomenon. This will be a chance for people to experience the show with an exciting new cast! Too, this will highlight the fact that young writers are sometimes overlooked when they first debut."
Songs for a New World will play the following performance schedule: Saturday, August 4 at 11:00 p.m., Sunday, August 5 at *2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 11 at 11:00 p.m., and Sunday, August 12 at *2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. (*Talkbacks will follow both matinee performances.) Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.
Talkbacks Panels will include: Sunday, August 5 at 2:30pm: Current cast, Diana Buchwald, Ben Garrett, Krista Paolella, Rafael Rodriguez with director Bethany Christine Elkin.
Sunday, August 12 at 2:30pm: The panel will reunite original company members of the WPA production: Kyle Renick, Producer and Artistic Director of the WPA Theatre; Daisy Prince, Director of Songs for a New World and original cast member Jessica Molaskey. Tickets are priced at $15 and available online at www.yorktheatre.org, by calling (212) 935-5820, or in person at the box office at the York Theatre at Saint Peter's (Citicorp Building, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue), Monday through Friday (12:00 -6:00 p.m.). For additional information, please visit the website at www.yorktheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Susan Cook/York Theater Company
Krista Paolella, Ben Garrett, Rafael Rodriguez and Diana Buchwald