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Songs For A New World

Sunday, June 11, 2023 @ 3:00pm

Fellowship Hall at Morristown United Methodist Church
50 South Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960

Pioneer Productions brings Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s (“The Last Five Years”, “Bridges of Madison County”) powerful musical, Songs for a New World, to the stage at Fellowship Hall in the Morristown Methodist Church in downtown Morristown, NJ. The show will have six performances in June, June 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 8:00 PM and June 11 and 18 at 3:00 PM.  Pioneer co-founder, Daniel Peter Vissers of Sparta, directs this musical that examines life, love and the choices we make. 

This contemporary musical is a moving collection of songs that examines life and weaves its characters and history together, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery.  This song-cycle concept takes the audience through time, making stops in 1492, 1775, the 20th century, and the present day.  As Brown’s lyrics explain, “It’s about one moment. The moment before it all becomes clear.”

“What speaks to me most about this show are the powerful stories of human experience, and all the struggles, pain and triumphs that come with life,” says Vissers. “It’s about finding that glimmer of light in our darkest moments that gets us through to tomorrow.”

The actors play a variety of roles, from a young basketball star, a Revolutionary War heroine, the captain of a Spanish sailing ship on a harrowing voyage across the Atlantic, a young woman confronting her dreams, and a woman who reflects on missed love and opportunity. Each one tells a unique story of change, overcoming obstacles, or facing a difficult choice.  The talented cast includes Amber Brown (Montclair), Tracey Lynn Haskell (Lebanon), Sherry Mayce (Little Falls), Connor McDowell (Jersey City), Jazmynn Perez (Metuchen), Shanna Levine Phelps (Livingston), Daniel Peter Vissers (Sparta), Michael Willis (Parsippany) and Andrea Wright (North Plainfield).  The show is choreographed by Pioneer co-founder Jon Mantes (Whippany), with musical direction by Hannah Comia.

“Though the themes are deeply profound and moving, there are lighter moments as well,” says Shanna Levine-Phelps of Livingston, Pioneer co-founder and cast member, “I am confident that the audience will be moved to laughter as well as tears. This show is quite an emotional ride!”  

Pioneer Productions was incorporated in 2003 as a 501c-3 nonprofit theater company by founding members Dan Vissers, Shanna Levine-Phelps and Jon Mantes. The Company’s mission is to share our collective human story through live theatrical performance by producing shows that are relevant to our time and inspire audiences to attend live theater.  Funding for this show has been made possible in part by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.  

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