The Arts
The Arts at EHS

Winter Musical "Songs for a New World" Bucks Convention

The winter musical, “Songs for a New World,” bucked tradition in more ways than one. 

The musical itself, the work of composer Jason Robert Brown, is an abstract revue with songs tied together by a central theme. The show, Brown has said, is “about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.” Each of the scenes represents this theme in some way, and, while not connected by a traditional story arch, they collectively tell the story of the characters’ universal experiences. 

With the continuation of Episcopal’s hybrid learning program, eight students participated in rehearsals and performed in person, while five others joined in virtually. With the added component of shortened rehearsal time this winter, the cast and crew faced the challenge of putting together the performance in just six weeks. 

Theater Director Mallory Nonnemaker was impressed with her students’ determination and creativity in the face of the many challenges this unusual season presented. “Putting a musical together in six weeks is daunting under normal circumstances, but I truly saw our students embrace this challenge with confidence,” Nonnemaker says. “There was an overwhelming sense of positivity throughout rehearsals and the performance.” 

Performances took place on February 26 and 27 on the Fox Stage in Pendleton Hall. As with the fall play, elements of the musical were pre-recorded by the virtual student-actors and projected on stage during the live performance. “Our virtual students really adapted with resilience because, although they were asynchronous, they were able to perform and be an essential part of the company,” says Nonnemaker. 

“I have never felt more confident going into an opening night in all of my career. These students rose to the challenge with joy and love for this community.” 

See photos from the performance on our Maroon and Black Flickr page.

Cast List: 

Taylor Ballinger ’22
Nia Beane ’21
Annie Caine ’22 
Faith Familua ’23
Eli Fite ’23 
Sofi Igyan ’21
Graham Jewett ’24
Demetri Kearns ’22
Chris Kim ’21
Flora Kuipers ’23
Will Morris ’21
Abby Nason ’23
Mi Nguyen ’23
Madison Oatley ’22
Stella Ren ’23
Eli Wilcox ’21
Baker Zhan ’24


Sam Ducksworth ’24
Banks Krause ’23
Debby Lee ’21
Rio Torres ’23
Zara Vetter ’24
Vicky Zhou ’24

Costume Design:
Janie Becherer ’23
Morgan Dixon ’23
Stage Manager/Set Design:
Esther Hwang ’22

Assistant Director:
Chris Kim ’21

Music Direction:
Brent Erstad

Assistant Music Direction:
Bobby Stubbs

Chris Rose 

Technical Director:
Wes Reid

Adrienne Taylor

Mallory Nonnemaker