We recently sat down with Director Tommy Novak and Young Company student Conlan Ledwith to talk about the Young Company’s upcoming production SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD.
Sounds a lot like the First Stage cheer, “I take risks! I conquer my fears!”
TN: Absolutely, whatever crossroad or moment we are at in our lives, at any age, there should be support through that. At the center of the play’s theme is the idea of staying open to listening and engaging with others and knowing that we are valuable.
CL: The play encourages us to accept and understand the reasons why people do things. Empathizing and understanding… we don’t do enough of that… and we should.
|Director Tommy Novak and cast of Songs for a New World|
I had the privilege of sitting in on some of your first rehearsal, you all sounded amazing. What are the challenges of this show?
CL: I like the extremely inventive storytelling it takes to make each moment truthful even though the play doesn’t follow a single story. And the extreme challenge of the music.
TN: The play is a song cycle, meaning it is a series of songs that come together as a show. It is so difficult. Each song is its own story and I believe it will be a great challenge to look into the text and music for the clues of something so abstract.
Do you have any favorite songs?
TN: I do! “Christmas Lullaby” give you bits and pieces of a story that is really engaging. There is a song near the beginning of the play where the ensemble pleas for help, we don’t know where we are going or what’s ahead, it’s very exciting. And then “Hear My Song” toward the end encompasses everything!
Anything else you want to say about the play?
TN: It’s really wonderful, contemporary, and a huge challenge. I think it will be fun for the performers to take a step outside of traditional musical theater styles. Plus, it reminds us that everyone has a story to tell and those stories should be heard.
SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD runs March 14-16 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. Tickets are $12. Tickets may be purchased ONLINE HERE or through the First Stage Box Office at (414) 267-2961.
About First Stage Young Company