Starting Friday, Tisch’s GAP program will be showing Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World. The GAP program is funded by the Department of Drama, but the productions are entirely student run. The direction, production, lighting, choreography, and acting are all run by students from multiple studios within Tisch. This unique program is meant to serve as a transition between studies and work conducted in class into the professional world of theater. This time around, Kristin Piacentile, Zachary Infante, Rachel Geisler, and Matt Gregory star in a four person show directed by Danny Baird, about the journey of overcoming overcoming difficulties in search of a ‘new world’ of sorts. Coincidentally, the show is a fitting metaphor for the rocky transition into the professional world after graduation, a time that Piacentile laughingly described as “a quarter-life crisis.”
Songs For A New World was originally written as a musical review, however Baird envisioned to tell the story through movement. Each song is partnered with dance styles ranging from tap to ballet to modern. However, the dance never overshadows the powerful vocals.
At first, the show is hard to grasp, with each actor playing a new character with each song. However, as the performance continues, one begins to see individual, archetypal personalities embodied by each actor. Like the songs themselves, these individual personae range from reverent and emotional to comical and brazen. Our personal favorite was a disgruntled Mrs. Claus’s diatribe against her hubby in an adopted German accent that ends in the murder of an elf and a lap dance. Good stuff.
If you are looking for a way in inject some culture into your long weekend, the show is running from February 20th to the 24th at 8pm, and on February 25th and both 2 pm and 8 pm in the Shop Theater on the 2nd floor of 721 Broadway. Tickets are a steal at only $5 and the show runs just under 2 hours. We highly recommend going out to support the hard work of these dedicated students, to hear some great music, and to see some great dancing!
Photos by Egle Makaraite.