Rabbit Run Theater and Lake Erie College’s Studio Series opens the musical revue, “Songs for a New World”

PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Rabbit Run Theater, in Madison, Ohio, and Lake Erie College open the third production of the 2016-17 Studio Series: Extraordinary Circumstances season with “Songs for a New World”.

This musical revue with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, opens Friday, Feb. 10, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 25.

“Songs for a New World” transports the audience from the deck of a 1492 galleon to the ledge of a skyscraper and everywhere in between to meet an array of characters.   From a young man who sees basketball as his ticket out of poverty to a woman whose dream of marrying rich lands her in a soulless marriage, each song portrays someone at a moment of decision.

With a mixture of musical style including jazz, ballad and Gospel, the production is comprised of 16 songs performed by a small ensemble of four actors.

“Songs for a New World” is directed by Brint Learned, executive director of Rabbit Run Community Arts Association (RRCAA) in Madison.  Musical direction is provided by Chris Bott who also serves as the on-stage pianist for the show.

“While most of the musical numbers in ‘Songs for a New World’ were originally written for other projects, there is an overarching theme to the production,” says Learned.  “Each number stands on its own as a unique story and yet all of them address that one life-changing moment in a person’s life when a choice must be made; to stay or to go, to move forward or retreat.”

Performing in the show are female vocalists Stephanie Harden and Colleen O’Leary along with male vocalists Jayson Gage and Kyle Lorek.

“Songs for a New World” runs Feb. 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 12 and 19 at 2:00 p.m. in the C.K. Rickel Theatre in Royce Hall for the Fine and Performing Arts off of Gillett St. on the Lake Erie College campus, 391 W. Washington St., Painesville, OH.

Tickets for all performances are available on line at www.rabbitrunonline.org or at the door.  Tickets are $15/adult and $13/senior.  All students are admitted free of charge as well as Lake Erie College faculty and staff.  All seats are general seating.  Parking is free.

Two pre-show events are available on Friday, Feb. 17, and Friday, Feb. 24, at the Steele Mansion in Painesville.  Patrons may enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and a self-guided tour through the mansion.  The Steele Mansion is located at 348 Mentor Ave., across from Lake Erie College.  Tickets are $27 for adults and $25 for seniors (includes show ticket).  Cash bar is available.  Reservations recommended and may be made at rabbitrunonline.org.

“Songs for a New World” is made possible in part by funding through the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lake County Visitors Bureau Arts and Culture Fund, the Ohio Arts Council and ideastream.

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RRCAA is a comprehensive fine arts association offering year-round instruction in all the major disciplines of the fine and performing arts as well as operating Rabbit Run Theater, one of the few barn theaters still in operation. For more information, call RRCAA at 440-428-5913 or visit rabbitrunonline.org.

Lake Erie College, founded in 1856, provides distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs grounded in the liberal arts. We empower students to deal with the diversity, complexity and change necessary to excel in the 21st century. We offer 35 undergraduate majors and master’s programs in business administration, education and physician assistant studies. Our students compete in 17 NCAA Division II varsity sports.

Pictured above: Actors are (L to R):  Chris Bott (pianist and musical director), Stephanie Harden, Kyle Lorek, Jayson Gage and Colleen O’Leary.  Photo credit: Hannah Sandham.


Karen Ziegler, Director of Marketing, RRCAA

Michelle Kolk, Assoc. Dir. of Public Relations/Marketing, LEC