Foursome to sing ‘Songs for a New World’ from Monumental

Jason Robert Brown’s powerhouse song cycle comes to a screen near you.

Monumental Theatre Company presents a full-scale virtual production of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World to stream on demand in July. Songs for a New World is a series of seemingly unrelated stories strung together by truths revealed in moments of fear, hope, courage, and connection.

Jason Robert Brown’s powerhouse score (New York City Center 2018 Encores! version) includes a moving collection of such musical theater favorites as “King of the World,” “Stars and the Moon,” and “I’m Not Afraid of Anything.”

The cast of ‘Songs for a New World’: Kylie Clare Smith, Elvie Ellis, Sarah Anne Sillers, and Ryan Burke.

In the setting of a small support group, Songs for a New World features four dynamic performers who navigate the extreme vocal and emotional demands of the score with ease. Returning to the Monumental stage are Kylie Clare Smith (Signature Theatre, Monumental’s Flip Flop Cabaret) as Woman 1 and Sarah Anne Sillers (Olney Theatre Center, Monumental’s Urinetown) as Woman 2. Making their Monumental debut as Man 1 and Man 2, respectively, are Elvie Ellis (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma) and Ryan Burke (Ford’s Theatre, Olney Theatre).

Songs for a New World is led by Director Megan Bunn, alongside Music Director Marika Countouris and Choreographer David Singleton. “Songs for a New World is about how growth is constant, but not always linear — that’s the messiness of being human,” said Bunn. “After the past year of isolation, reflection, and reckoning, the potential for compassion and community present in these characters’ stories resonates with us now more than ever.”

Countouris shared, “It has been a real treat to be able to safely make music in person again on this project. The energy in the room was electric and you can hear it in the musicians’ work. Songs features the largest orchestra of any Monumental project to date and some of the area’s most talented vocalists.”

The nine-piece orchestra, led by Countouris (Piano), features a luscious string section including Jeff Thurston (Violin), Sonia Garcia-Lee (Violin), Andrew Weaver (Viola), and Aron Rider (Cello). The rhythm section is filled out by Matt Horanzy (Guitar), Jonas Creason (Bass), Sam Carolla (Drums), and Marty Risemberg (Percussion).

The production also features the work of creative team members Jeannette Christensen (Costume Design), Alec Green (Audio Engineer and Sound Design), Thomas Nagata (Production Stage Manager), and Zack Gross (Videographer, Director of Photography and Editor) of Hand Me Down Films.

Songs for a New World will be available to rent on demand July 2 to July 31, 2021. Tickets are available online.

Monumental Theatre Company, winner of the 2018 Helen Hayes John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, is a professional, nonprofit theater dedicated to promoting, producing, and providing platforms for millennial artists. They work to develop new works, new views on established works, and the next generation of theatergoers in the DC community.


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