By Jason Robert Brown Directed by Robert Walsh
Nyah Macklin (Woman 3) is honored for the opportunity to make her Gloucester Stage Company debut with this production of Songs for a New World. Originally from New Haven, CT, Nyah is currently a B.A candidate in Black Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She has dedicated her life to articulating and improving the state of Black communities and all marginalized bodies around the nation by altering legislation that has disproportionately negatively affected marginalized communities through a career in politics and through her love of acting and music. Credits include: For Colored Girls (The Lady in Red), The Wiz (Glenda), and Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle) all at Brandeis University Theater and Spring Awakening (Martha) at Goucher College Theater, Towson, MD. She is excited to share this journey with you all. Please enjoy the show.
Chris Pittman* (Man 1) is thrilled to be making his debut with Gloucester Stage in this exciting production of Songs For A New World. Chris is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music where he studied Vocal Performance & Music Business. Chris has been a Boston resident for the past several years and has been seen in various productions throughout New England. Regional credits include; Showboat (Pete, Shubert Theatre), Sweet Charity (Marvin/Ensemble, Stoneham Theatre), Rent (Mr. Jefferson/u/s Tom Collins/Ensemble), The Little Mermaid (Flotsam, Fiddlehead Theatre), Company One’s production of Colossal (Caldwood Pavilion), A Chorus Line (Richie, Norwood Theatre). Christoper would like to thank his parents and family for their unwavering love & support, his friends & housemates for their encouragement and listening ears, and all of those who have shown him love throughout his life. Enjoy the show! For Grandma. Namaste
Barbara Walsh* (Woman 2) Broadway: First Daughter Suite (The Public Theater), Falsettos (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League nominations, LA Ovation Award), Company (Drama Desk, Drama League nominations), Nine, Big, Blood Brothers, Hairspray, Ragtime (Chicago). Off-Broadway: Three Days To See (Transport Group), Normal, Birds of Paradise, Forbidden Broadway. Regional: Master Class (Paper Mill Playhouse), Dinner With Friends (The Old Globe), Carrie (Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes Award), Vanya, Sonia…(KC Repertory Theatre), 33 Variations (Capital Repertory Theatre), A Little Night Music (Center Stage). Film/TV: Law and Order Criminal Intent; Life With Mikey; Law & Order; One Life to Live.
Wendy Waring* (Woman 1) is honored to be making her GSC debut. She has starred on Broadway as Ulla in the Producers, Z’s Favorite in The Will Rogers Follies, Irene in Crazy For You as well as supporting roles in Mathew Warchus’s Follies and Legs Diamond with Peter Allen. She has had roles in Kiss of The Spiderwoman directed by Hal Prince, Cabaret at The George Street Playhouse, Sunshine Boys at Syracuse Stage. Her skills also translate to the small screen with portrayals in the HBO pilot THE WINO CROSSING, the independent film THE DEFINITE MAYBE, and THE PRODUCERS movie. Her talents have also been utilized as a choreographer and assistant director in association with director Dale Lally and Jo Cimato in over fifteen productions guiding the students of Beacon High School for the last decade. Her home is in New York City though she has roots in Rockport with her family. Wendy sends love to her children: Jackson, 17, rising freshman in the business school at UCONN, Nicholas, 23, artist/social activist in Denver, and Amy, 33, actress in NYC, and husband, actor John Hillner.
Robert Walsh** (Director/Artistic Director) GSC: The New Electric Ballroom, North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, The Widow’s Blind Date, The Primary English Class, Our Town. GSC (Actor): Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses, The Barking Sharks, Two for the Seesaw. Producing Artistic Director, American Stage Festival: Bus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel…, and Lend Me a Tenor, among others. Artistic Associate: Actors’ Shakespeare Project: As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, Measure For Measure. Other productions directed include: Othello (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life, Holiday Memories (Merrimack Rep); Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, True West (New Repertory Theatre); The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, The Goatwoman of Corvis County (Shakespeare & Co.); Misalliance, A Life in the Theatre (Two River Theatre Co.); I Hate Hamlet (StageWest); The Little Foxes (Barter Theatre); and Of Mice and Men (Stoneham Theatre), among others. Robert directed the on-field ceremonies for the ’99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at A.R.T./M.X.A.T. (Harvard) and Brandeis University.
Bethany Aiken (Music Director) is delighted to make her Gloucester Stage debut! She has served as music director for over 70 productions, including Lobster Girl (for which she also created orchestrations), Sweet Charity, Christmas on the Air, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Something’s Afoot (Stoneham Theatre); Wonderful Town, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Bernarda Alba (Stoneham young company); Marry Me a Little (NextDoor Theater); Night of the Living Dead the Musical (NYC premiere); Ring of Fire (Rocky Mountain Repertory); and four seasons at New Hampshire’s Weathervane Theatre, where favorite shows included Rent, Violet, Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Hair, Ragtime, and Legally Blonde. She also composed music for original productions of Little Red and the Wolf, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Wizard of Magic Island. Bethany is a staff accompanist at The Boston Conservatory and holds degrees from Oberlin College (BA, English and Music History/Theory) and Emerson College (MFA, Creative Writing).
John David Eldridge (Sound Designer, Associate Music Director) John is thrilled to be making his debut with Gloucester Stage Company! An alumnus of Case Western Reserve University’s joint program with the Cleveland Institute of Music, John is a freelance pianist/conductor and theater music director located just outside of Boston. Recent credits (as Assistant Music Director): Thoroughly Modern Millie, Kiss Me Kate, Me and My Girl (Reagle Music Theater); Dogfight (SpeakEasy Stage Company). As Music Director: Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde, Mary Poppins, Hello, Dolly! (Pentucket Players); Phantom of the Opera, The Pirates of Penzance (Concord Carlisle High School); The Music Man, Grease, The Wedding Singer (Concord Youth Theater). Upcoming: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Arlington Friends of the Drama). JohnEldridgeMusic.com
Sarah Hickler (Choreographer) is a movement/theater performer, choreographer, director and teacher. Her performance work has been produced in New England at Institute of Contemporary Art, DeCordova Museum, Performance Place, Boston Playwrights, Mobius, Cambridge Multicultural Art Center, Dance Complex, Green Street, Austen Art Center in CT, Theater Lab and Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in NYC, and Mercury Theatre in the U.K. A former member of Mobius Artists Group, she has collaborated with experimental theatre, dance and media artists from the U.S. and abroad. Sarah performs with the International Action Theater Ensemble and Susan Dibble Dance/Theater. She has directed productions for Sedona, LA Women’s and Sun Valley Shakespeare, Emerson Stage, and has been movement director/choreographer on over 30 professional and college productions. She is certified in Authentic Movement and Action Theater, and is Head of Acting in the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College in Boston.
Jenna McFarland Lord (Scenic Designer) Jenna has designed for the Gloucester Stage Company since 2003 and was the resident set designer for GSC from 2003–2013. GSC credits include: Gloucester Blue, New Electric Ballroom, Spring Awakening,, Living Together, Table Manners, Trying, Breath of Life, Sins of the Mother, Doubt: A Parable, The Widow’s Blind Date, The Belle of Amherst, My Old Lady, Dinner with Friends, LifeX3, Spinning into Butter, The Loman Family Picnic. Other Boston area credits: Bootycandy, Big Fish, The Color Purple, In The Heights, The Drowsy Chaperone (IRNE award nomination for Best Set Design), The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Theatre District, and Moonlight Room (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Something’s Afoot, Distant Music (both IRNE award nominations for Best Set Design), It’s a Wonderful Life, Steel Magnolias, The Porch, Guys on Ice, The Mousetrap (Addison Award for Best Set Design) (Stoneham Theatre); The Convert (Elliot Norton for Best Production 2016) (Central Square Theatre); Collected Stories, Cherry Docs (both IRNE award nominations for Best Set Design) (New Repertory Theatre); Groundswell, November, This Wonderful Life (Lyric Stage Company of Boston); The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth (Actors Shakespeare Project); Don Giovanni (New England Conservatory); Noises Off, Oklahoma, The Full Monty, Twelfth Night, Cosi Fan Tutte (The Boston Conservatory); A View from the Bridge, Escape From Happiness (Brandeis University). Off-Broadway: The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath (New York Playwrights’ Lab). Ms. McFarland Lord received her theatre training at Emerson College and she is currently the set design teacher at the Boston Arts Academy, a public high school for the arts. jennamcfarlandlord.com
Charles Schoonmaker (Costume Designer) is happy to be at Gloucester Stage for the first time. Charles is the recipient of four Daytime Emmy Awards for his work in television. Boston area credits include Venus in Fur (IRNE Award, best costume design, large theatre), God of Carnage and A Long and Winding Road at the Huntington Theatre Company; Ulysses on Bottles (Israeli Stage at Arts Emerson); Mothers and Sons, Far From Heaven, The Light in the Piazza, and Nine (SpeakEasy Stage Company); Agrippina (Boston Baroque); Tarzan (North Shore Music Theatre); Race and The Clean House (New Repertory Theatre); Grey Gardens, The Legacy of Light and 33 Variations (Lyric Stage Company). Credits in the Berkshires include the Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Dorset Theatre Festival, The Chester Theatre Company and seven seasons as the resident costume designer at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Television credits include Another World, All My Children and As the World Turns. He teaches costume design at Bennington College. www.Charles-Schoonmaker.com
Marsha Smith* (Stage Manager) GSC: The Flick, Sweet and Sad, Fences, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, This is Our Youth, Spring Awakening, Round and Round the Garden, Fighting Over Beverley, Living Together, An Ideal Husband, Tender, Sins of the Mother, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Doubt: A Parable, Widow’s Blind Date, Ponies, The Price. Regional: Violet, Big Fish, SpeakEasy Stage Company; On The Town, Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Burning, The Company We Keep, The Farm, 5 Down 1 Across, Little Black Dress, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; Einstien’s Dreams, Underground Railway Theater. Education: BFA in Stage Management Emerson College. Marsha lives on her family’s farm in Hudson, NH, and is glad to be back at GSC.
Russ Swift† (Lighting Designer) GSC: Resident Lighting Designer for the past 11 years. Productions include: The Last Schwartz, Sweet and Sad; Out of Sterno; The New Electric Ballroom; The Flick; Jacques Brel; Fences; Spring Awakening; North Shore Fish; Carnival; “Master Harold” . . . and the Boys; The Most Happy Fella; Fighting Over Beverley; Table Manners; Trying; The Breath of Life; Sins of the Mother; Billy Bishop Goes to War; Going to St. Ives; Dear Liar; The Belle of Amherst; Ponies; The Widow’s Blind Date; The Secret of Mme. Bonnard’s Bath; The Price; The Heidi Chronicles, Long Day’s Journey Into Night; My Old Lady; Spinning into Butter. Boston-area (select): The Hobbit (Wheelock Family Theatre); Scarlett Letter (Worcester Foothills); It’s All True (Lyric Stage Company of Boston); Rags (The Boston Conservatory); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, 2010 and 1012 Gala (Boston Arts Academy). Other: Mr. Swift has designed for Tri-Cities Opera, the Jewish Theatre of New England, the Publick Theatre, Chamber Theatre Productions, Boston Lyric Opera, the Worcester Forum Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the Theatre of Newburyport, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Bristol Riverside Theatre, American Ensemble Theatre, Stephan Petronio Dance Company, the Caldwell Theatre, KewPee Corporation and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. Mr. Swift has been on the faculty or staff at Northeastern University, Emerson College, Endicott College, Westfield State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Salem State University, Community College of Rhode Island, and Groton School. He is currently the production manager for the Theatre Department at Boston College. Russ resides in Wilbraham with his wife, Mayre, and daughter, Michaela.
Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe
“…a theatrical song cycle elegantly staged by director Robert Walsh at Gloucester Stage Company…” “As the performers move adroitly among the pop, gospel, jazz, and funk styles of Brown’s score, the composer’s bountiful melodic gift is constantly in evidence. So is his careful attention to craft and his romantic sensibility…” “…rueful, poignant…”
Pete Chianca, Wicked Local: North of Boston
Teens Touched by ‘Songs for a New World’ in Gloucester
“If you have any doubts as to whether the Gloucester Stage Co. remains one of the most amazing intimate spaces to see live theater on the North Shore, do yourself a favor and see “Songs for a New World”…”
Shelia Barth, The Chelsea Record
“Gloucester Stage Company (GSC) theatergoers can sit back, watch and listen to five accomplished actors performing songs that span human emotion…” “…outstanding…” “…the actors’ voices and personalities blend beautifully on stage, while transitioning from reverential, anthemic, gospel songs, jazzy interpretations…” “…kick back and enjoy an afternoon of fine music, performed by a harmonic troupe, each possessing versatility and remarkable vocal range.”
Sally Applegate, Wicked Local: Rockport
“This stunning collection of songs by Jason Robert Brown, “Songs for a New World,” at the Gloucester Stage Company, offers the wisdom that you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last to find yourself in a strange new landscape.” “A spectacular cast leads the audience through moments of sorrow, hilarity and anger…Director Robert Walsh has artfully woven the evening into a cohesive and compelling adventure…” “The opening night audience was mesmerized by the cast’s bravura performances of Brown’s wonderful score, and gave the deserving cast an enthusiastic standing ovation.”
Carolyn Clay, The ARTery
“At Gloucester Stage, “Songs” boasts a talented cast…”
Robert Israel, The Arts Fuse
“The production proves to be invigorating and, at times, rapturous…” “The Gloucester Stage cast…infuse the play with the called-for waves of desire and deepen it into expressions of spirituality.” “…the GSC production of Songs for a New World demands more. It invites us to take a deep look into our souls.”
BWW News Desk, BroadwayWorld.com
Photo Flash: Meet the Stars of Gloucester Stage’s SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD