“Songs for a New World” celebrates hope for the future, the unstoppable human spirit

CATEGORIES: News, Students

Illustration, three people singingISU Theatre’s spring musical “Songs for a New World” is both exquisitely timed and timeless. As the world begins to look toward a post-pandemic future, this contemporary song cycle share stories of characters exploring their own new beginnings with joy, longing and exuberance.

“Songs for a New World,” with music and lyrics by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, opens Thursday, April 22, as a livestreamed performance. A cast of 14 soloists will give voice to a stunningly imaginative array of stories and settings—all themed around life, love and the choices that are made in extraordinary moments.

This spring, students learned how to produce the musical using a multicamera format, resulting in an experience that’s less like a performance and more like a campfire, said Brad Dell, director of ISU Theatre and the show’s director.

Students posing on a bench
Several members of the “Songs for a New World” cast. Photo by Alyson O’Hara.

“‘Songs for a New World’ has been such a process of joy and healing,” Dell said. “It is so richly appropriate for our time as the show builds fellowship through exploring stories about change, transformation, longing and discovery. We wanted it to be a community of folks gathered around the proverbial campfire for communion, fellowship and celebrating a fundamental hope for the future.”

Heaven Booker, a junior in performing arts and soloist in the musical, said the show has given talented students an opportunity to leave their hearts on the stage and create an inspiring atmosphere of “magic.”

“The music is absolutely beautiful and helps tell everyone’s individual stories,” she said. “I want everyone that watches to walk away from it feeling like they are unstoppable and can discover more in this world.”

Ticket access, streaming details

“Songs for a New World” streams Thursday, April 22, through Sunday, April 26. Admission is “pay what you will,” and details on how to access the stream are available on the show’s webpage.

For more information, visit www.theatre.iastate.edu, email isutheatre@iastate.edu or call 515-294-2624. ISU Theatre is funded by ISU Student Government and supported by the Transforming Liberal Arts and Sciences Endowment.