Teatro San Diego debuts their inaugural show, SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD streaming August 5th – 15th. Staying true to their founding mission of a more accurate representation on stage of what is happening in the world, this show connects these characters and songs through the unique and timely perspective of current events. The cast of this show talk about their characters and their favorite moments working together.
The SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD cast includes Mya Feiga, Sarah Marie Hernandez, Chase Lowary, Vivan Romero, Annabell Walker, and Jarel Lewis. The show does not have specific character arcs that serve an overall theme. Director Kevin “Blax” Burroughs had a vision to transform this show with an interpretation that integrates the social issues in this country: racial injustice, feminism, white privilege and gender equality & sexuality to give the characters and the show additional depth. This resulted in each person’s role being specifically focused to help tell the story with the current events perspective.
Sarah Marie Hernandez plays Woman 1, who in this production is also the idea of “Feminism”. She says the character arc was inspirational, while working with the cast on creating this show was a highlight.
I play Woman 1/Feminism in Songs For A New World. My approach in developing my character was drawing inspiration from what empowers me as a woman, from how I carried myself on stage to how I performed my songs. Textual analysis is the biggest component for me as a performer, and I found that through the lens of feminism, Woman 1’s pieces represent strength and a reclamation of what has traditionally been seen as weaknesses in women: love, childbirth, and being conditioned to live in fear from the moment we’re born.
My favorite moments were inmusic rehearsals with the cast–We’ve had to digest such dense material in an incredibly short amount of time, and my 3 fellow castmates created such a supportive and encouraging environment that made this difficult process worthwhile!
Vivian Romero plays a character originally known as Woman 2, but in this show is the lens of “White Privilege. Romero says that this provided an interesting challenge to the role, while rehearsing in person was a delightful bonus after the last year.
I play White Privilege, originally known as Woman 2. If you are familiar with this show, you may know that it is performed in a manner in which each song is a completely different person from the last, however, Kevin directed me to make a through-line within the entire piece. It was a challenge to dig into the complexities and nuances of each varying song and connect them, but my approach to this role was to really lean into the felt reality of White Privilege. I took inspiration from my personal experiences with whiteness, the other characters’ relationship to my character, and especially the outlandish ignorance that was on display this past year, and then I was able to link all of these characters into one cohesive and certainly wild woman.
After not being able to rehearse in person with people for over a year, one of my absolute favorite moments was when we all sang together in our very first music rehearsal. This cast is unbelievably talented, so in addition to the gratitude from being a part of this star-studded cast, I was also overwhelmingly grateful to be back in a theatrical space with fellow inspired artists after some time away from performing. And of course, I loved all of the inside jokes we developed throughout the three-week process.
Chase Lowary plays the role of Man 2, which came with a different perspective in this adaptation and had everyone coming in with open hearts and minds to create. This proved toc create some of Chase’s favorite moments.
I played Man 2 in Songs for a New World at Teatro San Diego. My approach to this role was to seriously just throw away everything I thought Man 2 was and to re-learn it through the lens of our director. The characters were structured a lot differently in our production than the original casts so we had to enter with open minds.
My favorite moment working on this show would have had to be getting to work with my amazing cast. With the cast being so small, we had to get to know one another very quickly and very closely and I can honestly say I have not fallen in love with a group of people so quickly in my life. This cast is SO undeniably talented, but they are also such great people and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of co-stars to work on this production with.
Mya Feiga came in and took on the role if Man 1, which is interpreted through the lens of racial Justice. She says that she hopes this roles perspective delivers the audience a perspective someone of them may not have experienced. Like Chase,Mya says this cast was one of her favorite things about this show.
I play Man 1/Racial Justice. My aim for my character approach was to try to give a glimpse to how mentally taxing it can be being apart of the black community in America. My favorite moment during the show was the chemistry I had with the other five in the cast and how easy it was to connect and bounce off different ideas with them to make things work for the show.
Annabelle Walker is a dancer, a role that was brought in for this production to be featured alongside dancer Jarel Lewis to add an additional emotional layer to some powerful moments.
I’ve had an amazing time with the whole rehearsal process. I approached this role with an idea to be ready for something entirely unique. Since this show is traditionally designed to be for singers only, when I was offered the role and told the theme of the show I knew it was going to be an incredible experience and I was proven correct.
One of my favorite moments of the rehearsal process was when we finally met together as a whole cast. We had been rehearsing separately for the dance sections and the first night together you could just feel the passion and support in the group from the performers to the whole creative team. Just an unbelievable outpouring of love.
Jarel was not able to be interviewed, but having seen a sneak peek of the performance I can tell you that his performance along with Annabelle’s is excellent and highlight of the production.
SONGS FOR A NEW world is streaming August 5th-15th. Ticket access information can be found at www.teatrosandiego.org/tickets.
You can follow everyone at their websites or on their their social media accounts
Sarah Marie Hernandez
@cjlowary on everything
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