UHS Fall Musical: Songs for A New World

Reagan Gregory, Staff Writer

University High School’s fall musical, ‘Songs for a New World’,  played in the theater from September 2nd through the 4th. This summer intensive focused on briefly highlighting the different new character’s goals, thoughts, and personal issues with each scene rather than having a developing storyline. Although the musical lacked a clear story, it had a running theme of change in all scenes. All characters were begging for a change of some sort, whether it was from their partner or their own reputation. 

Without being made aware of the theme, the musical can be slightly confusing.  For some, having nothing to follow might seem boring, but each and every new character had enough personality to be entertaining right off the bat. 

All the scenes were well taken by the audience– after each song, the crowd jumped out of their seats to applaud. While the solo performances were well received by the audience, group songs were slightly more praised than the character ones. There was one individual character performance, however, that the audience loved most: Surabaya Santa, sung by junior Mallika Cadin

Lead actor, senior Owen Stapp said that he “loved ‘The Steam Train’ and ‘The River Won’t Flow’ because both songs had tons of dancing which is something that [he] loves doing.” ‘The Steam Train’ is an upbeat hip-hop song about a boy who wants to break out of the routine of not being successful. “You don’t know me, but you will” was one of the lyrics from the song. Stapp played many characters throughout the entirety of the musical, from smaller parts in group songs to solo songs, with Stapp as the star. He has been involved with the theatre program all through high school and plans on being in more performances throughout his last year. 

This was the theatre art’s first show that they had been able to perform in over a year and a half due to the pandemic. “It was weird to do this during a pandemic, but it was necessary to do so and everyone was on board with doing theatre if it meant wearing a mask”, Stapp said in regards to rehearsing with COVID regulations. 

Although there were a few technical issues, the actors and actresses reacted calmly. The production of the musical was well-put together: set up between each set was quick and silent, and the lighting helped further convey the emotion and draw your eyes away from any moving sets. However, the piano in the background was slightly too loud and drowned the voices of the soprano singers at times.

Overall, ‘Songs for the World’ revolved totally around change. Although the plot could have been hard to follow at times, the thoroughness of the production and acting stayed constant throughout the summer intensive.