“One Moment That Changed Everything”: Songs For A New World


Photo courtesy of Jennifer Johnson

Students rehearse “Songs for a New World”, beautifully captured by Jennifer Johnston

Songs For A New World (SFANW) is Aspen High School’s upcoming musical. Composed by Jason Robert Crown, this beautifully written production fosters hope with a message of a better tomorrow.

The first musical in Aspen High School history to be choreographed, designed, and lit by students, Songs for a New World perfectly encapsulates the uncertain journey of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the utmost importance of hope.

As Logan Carter, the AHS drama teacher, puts it, “It was like this show was written for a world in crisis and a world going through a pandemic,” Carter reminisced, “It is Songs for a New World.”

The world has certainly been born anew as the aftermath of COVID-19 becomes daily life, and Songs for a New World wonderfully depicts this. This 14-person cast production is composed of a series of testimonials about that one moment that changes it all. With student choreographers Emma Boucher, Adriana Cipponeri, Katie Dangler, and Garrett Greene, SFANW is completely student driven-both for students and by students.

“In a world of uncertainty, the world needs theatre to give people hope,” Carter said.

SFANW does just that: gives people hope.

As for theatre itself, the journey for a musical this Spring has been everything but hopeful. The nature of musicals is rooted in singing, bursting into song to express emotion-but this is almost impossible with COVID-19. The Pitkin County Health Board made a series of laws prohibiting singing in public, and even when singing was permitted, performers had to be 25 feet apart, making a musical almost impossible.

With a very uncertain future for the musical, actors rehearsed for a live show with the hope to perform even with the laws deeming a live performance illegal. Students had to be committed, resilient, and flexible, as it was possible that even after their 13 weeks of rehearsal they would still be unable to perform in front of a live audience.

Luckily, in the end, it all worked out. Songs for a New World focuses on a series of songs and stories with a central theme: the moment that changes everything in one’s life. After months of toil and anguish, SFANW has grown into a fabulous production-Carter’s favorite production in her almost decade of working at AHS.

There will be both live and recorded performances, with live performances running from May 14-16. Opening night, April 14th will open at 6 pm. The 15th will have both a 2 pm Matinee and a 6 pm night performance. Lastly, the closing will be another 2 pm matinee. Each show will run for roughly 90 minutes with a brief intermission. For those who prefer to watch from the comfort of their own home, a live stream of the performance will stream May 20 – 22 at 6 pm.

Buy your tickets now before they sell out.

In-Person Performances (May 14-16) 

Digitally Streamed (May 20-22)