Songs For A New World - November 21

Southern Arizona Performing Arts Company

 Director's Notes (Cont.) 

Steam Train

Our main character in this story is someone who during the quarantine has realized that he is going to tackle his dreams of becoming and basketball star.  He is filling out an application to apply for colleges so that he can start his career.  The moments of the song where he stops singing and starts narrating pivotal moments in his life, are moments where he is writing his application essays to the colleges he wants to go to.  He realizes that he can fulfill his dreams despite what others have told him and he is now motivated to making those dreams come true.

The World Was Dancing

This is one of two songs in the show that is very loosely placed in our “pandemic” timeline.  It is also the most subtle of all of the songs as far as the emotional journey of our main character.  I think what is most relatable to all of us is that he knows his decisions are going to hurt people who love him, but in the end, he knows that he has to do what is best for him and that by staying on the path he was on, he would just be hurting those who love him even more.  It is easy to think this person is being selfish, but in a lot of ways he is the most brave because he living for himself and not for anyone else.  Since he never said good-bye to his fiancé, he is imagining how much he has hurt her in the end which in so many ways is a worse punishment than any actual conversation he could have had with her. 


Surabaya is a town in Indonesia and it has nothing to do with this song other than it’s connection with a song entitled “Surabaya-Johnny”.  The characters in both have very similar journeys.  This the second song that doesn’t really connect with our “pandemic” theme, but if looking at our poor Mrs. Claus from a broader sense, she might have too reached her breaking point much like our character in “Just One Step”.  She is in isolation and has grown tired of being neglected by “Nick”.  Again, often humorous, but still empowering and real as Mrs. Claus realizes that she can leave and will do so on New Years Day.

Christmas Lullaby

In a complete contrast to our last song, this song is the most internal of all of the songs because our character is feeling the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, but is stressing to her children that their faith can carry them through.  She starts out having to find that strength herself “inside of me” before she can impart it to her children.  She knows that with such a global issue, sometimes the best solace is in your faith.

King of the World

This is a man who is in a prison holding cell due to the protests that have occurred during the pandemic and the escalation of the Black Lives Matter movement.  We are seeing a man who has been through enough and is tired of Black Americans’ lives being cut short for no reason.  He is a man that feels encouraged because of the country’s outrage, but then realizes that he has seen this so many times before.  He says to himself that he is the “King of the World” because he has all of his community need to think this way because so many do not think his life is as important as his.  Every time another black man or woman is gunned down, his confidence is shaken and he goes back to square one.

I’d Give It All For You

This is another song where I cannot take full credit for the concept.  I already had it in my head that I wanted to make this duet about a same-sex couple who have now realized they want to be together after enduring isolation and the quarantine, but it was Matthew Holter who then brought it to my attention that I could turn this duet into a quartet and then the viewer doesn’t realize that the couples are same-sex until the conclusion.  This is again about reflection during the pandemic and the realization that when we stop and look back on our life choices, we can still make right our past wrongs.

Flagmaker, 1775

Once again I have taken this song away from the year in the title, but the idea of a woman at home sewing while the men are off to war carries true to today.  Our main character is worried about her husband who is fighting for the future of their children.  She knows it is the right thing to do, but she doesn’t want to lose her husband and have their daughter grow up without a father.  She keeps thinking of how women back during the Revolution would keep themselves busy by sewing stars and stripes on flags, and now she is trying to keep herself busy so that she doesn’t dwell on the “what ifs”. 

Flying Home

In this piece, we have a dancer who is acting as an angel who is collecting the souls of all of those who have died during the pandemic and taking them to heaven.  Even the angel knows the weight of what he has to do and is finding the strength to do so, but as he is consumed with the love and light that he receives for everyone who died, he is encourage to know that he will carry them home.

Hear My Song

This final selection is a prayer to the world.  It starts with an embodiment of a Goddess of the Earth and is joined by other angels to ease the people’s minds and bring peace to those tired by the effects of the pandemic.  In the end, all we know is that this will all be over and “we’ll be fine”. 

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