Make us your home page

Hopes, dreams are the focus of musical at Nature Coast Technical High School


Making changes, moving on and entering new chapters are a part of life. And as the school year draws to an end, it is the time of year that many youth, particularly high school seniors, are anticipating what lies ahead.

At Nature Coast Technical High School, students have prepared a musical presentation that focuses on that theme — finding one's way in a new world. Songs for a New World will be performed Thursday through Sunday by Shark Theatre in the school's Black Box Theatre.

"This is not a traditional book musical with a story," said director Lori Erickson, the performing arts department chairwoman and theater instructor at Nature Coast. "It is entirely sung … a series of songs that are connected thematically."

The show combines singing, dancing and a multimedia presentation with a 13-member cast.

Created by composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown, the abstract musical transports the audience from the deck of a Spanish sailing ship in 1492 to a woman sewing stars on a flag for each of her fallen sons, to a basketball court in the Bronx, where a young basketball player tries to find his way out of the slums.

"It is about the sharing of hopes and dreams of different people who are finding their way in a new world," Erickson said.

The show hits home for many in the cast, including senior Luis Tosado, 17, who moved to the area from Puerto Rico less than two years ago.

"The musical is about life and those hard moments and decisions that everyone has to take," Tosado said. "This (show) hit me in the heart because I went through that — taking that leap and change in direction."

Senior Karina Nieves, 17, agrees. For Nieves, captain of the school's dance team, this is her first time performing in a show with Shark Theatre.

"It's about going into a new situation, moving on and making decisions," she said. "I'm leaving high school and starting a new chapter, so this really relates."

Nieves and Tosado will each perform a solo dance, and then each will have duets with sophomore P.J. DiGaetano.

"They each choreographed their own dances," Erickson said. "They created their dances with the singers. They are the visual representation of those songs."

Erickson said the show uses elements of history, but they are portrayed in a contemporary way, with slides and video. All cast members will sing in the show, which features 16 songs.

Tosado and Nieves are among the nine cast members who recently won the Critics' Choice Award for Best in Florida in a Large Group Musical Performance at the Florida Thespian Honor Society State Festival and Competition in Tampa. Others include juniors L'Oreal Davis and Agustin Quijije; sophomores P.J. DiGaetano, Jacob Guardado, Sam Gee and Kim Hagland; and freshman Matthew Romeo.

Other cast members include juniors Sydney Campo and Leo Dillon and freshmen Alexandra Brickman and Haley Neuhausen.

The production stage managers are junior Lauren Seiler and sophomore Brendan Jones. Local piano instructor Leeann Champagne is the musical director, and Nature Coast theater instructor Tim Erickson is technical director and designer.

"The show is absolutely wonderful," Erickson said. "It's a true ensemble piece. It has an unusual, different style. … The audience will love it."

. If you go

Songs for a New World

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; also a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday.

Where: Black Box Theatre, Nature Coast Technical High School, 4057 California St., south of Brooksville.

Tickets: $10; $6 for students. Group discounts (10 or more) are available if reserved in advance. Recommended for ages 7 and older; children younger than 5 will not be admitted.

Contact: To reserve tickets, call (352) 797-7088, ext. 296.

Hopes, dreams are the focus of musical at Nature Coast Technical High School 04/21/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Wine of the week: Pull 2012 Merlot Paso Robles

    Bars & Spirits

    It's still too hot out to even think about big heavy red wines, but you can take a break from chilled whites with a lighter red varietal. One fine choice would be Pull 2012 Merlot from Broken Earth Winery, in Paso Robles, Calif.

  2. Is Ed Sheeran sexy? An investigation

    Music & Concerts

    Start with the guitar. Guitars are sexy, right? Historically, anytime anyone straps on a guitar, it's only a matter of time before they come running.

    Ed Sheeran, who sold out three shows at Madison Square Garden last year, opened for Taylor Swift’s “Red” tour and now has a new album called “x” (as in multiply), at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, June 14, 2014.  ?  I don?  t look like your typical pop star,?   says the pint-size 23-year-old British folk singer with a mop of red hair and an unassuming mien. ?  I don?  t sing songs like your typical pop star.” (Jesse Dittmar/The New York Times) -- PHOTO MOVED IN ADVANCE AND NOT FOR USE - ONLINE OR IN PRINT - BEFORE JUNE 22, 2014.
  3. Five ideas for cool summer snacks


    The 90-degree temperatures are not letting up anytime soon. We Floridians know to keep some cold treats on hand through September. Ice cream. Lemonade. Ice pops. Whether you're packing a beach cooler or preparing for a pool party, we've got you covered. Level up your summer snack game with these five refreshing …

    What’s not to like about a homemade ice cream sandwich? The thin chocolate cake bakes in about 10 to 12 minutes, and from there it’s all chilling out.
  4. New podcast: Unlikely cover songs from the '80s


    We're used to Hollywood remaking classic flicks from previous decades - especially our own - but did you know that many of the songs we hold dear from the '80s also are remakes? Stuck in the '80s has now done SIX episodes on "Covers in the '80s." This week's show highlights three more familiar tunes, including …

  5. Who is really making 'Chihuly art'?

    Visual Arts

    SEATTLE — More than 40 years later, Jeffrey Beers still vividly remembers what it felt like to have Dale Chihuly call up to convene a pre-dawn glassblowing session. You felt flattered and inspired, he said, jazzed by Mr. Chihuly's caffeinated freight train of energy and the idea of making art with him while most …

    The artist Dale Chihuly in his Seattle office, which holds some of his collections. [Kyle Johnson | for The New York Times]