Arts and Entertainment

Kitsap teens sing through time and space in CSTOCK revue

Cast members practice for Silverdale
Cast members practice for Silverdale's CSTOCK production of 'Songs for a New World.'
— image credit: Jennifer Morris/Staff Photo

With songs like "The Steam Train," "Flying Home" and "On the Deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship," it's no wonder director Billy Buhl predicts his audience may be searching for a seatbelt.

"They're going to be taken for a ride," he said.

In "Songs for a New World," an upcoming young adult revue from Silverdale's CSTOCK, characters span the realms of time and place, from a hopeful crew in 1492 in search of promised land to a present-day basketball player looking to land a deal with Adidas.

The revue also bungees to the heights and depths of emotion.

"It has really big, powerful moments that are emotionally gripping and then there are moments where it's fun. The audience never knows what's coming next," said the 18-year-old director, one of three chosen to lead the production. Artistic director Trina Williamson serves as music director.

The first teen-only show to be given a regular slot in the season line up, "Songs for a New World" features 13 of CSTOCK's younger members, spanning ages 13-20. It runs weekends from March 19 to March 28.

Becca Young, the show's youngest player at 13, said working with fellow actors of similar ages and in similar stages of life creates easy cooperation.

"The cast is really tight emotionally and friendship-wise, so it's really nice to have that sense of comfort," she said. Young joined CSTOCK for the 2007 production of "Scrooge." She now appears in the "The Music Man" and will sing in the ensemble of three "Songs for a New World" songs: "Stars in the Moon," in which a woman tells of the misconceptions of marrying for money, the hip hop mover "Steam Train" and gospel lament "The River Won't Flow."

Buhl and fellow directors Cherisse Martinelli and Jessica Rothwell have infused the vocally demanding show with slick choreography, some of it referencing pop favorites who peaked when the directors were in diapers.

During a recent rehearsal, Buhl showed an affinity for moves made famous before his time when an ensemble member commented on an "awkward" dance move.

"It's Fosse is what it is," said Buhl. "That's just Fosse for you."

Last year Buhl helped to direct a teen-only musical collage that served as a tester for the young adult program. "Songs for a New World" builds on that foundation. It is a black box production, meaning minimal sets and lighting. There is no dialogue; instead, the abstract musical covers central themes, connecting the ebbs and flows of an intangible plot through critically praised numbers from author Jason Robert Brown.

And "the music is sensational," said Buhl.

Get the details

CSTOCK's "Songs for a New World" is sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. See the show at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 6 p.m. Sundays March 19-28. For tickets and more information, visit www.cstock.org.

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