The latest production for the Dublin Coffman High School theater department represents one of the most technically challenging shows the school recently has done, according to students as well as staff.

"Songs for a New World," opened Oct. 17 and will run through Saturday, Oct. 20, at the high school, 6780 Coffman Road. It is a collection of songs that each serve as individual acts, said senior Tatum Peterson.

The songs revolve around the theme of change, said Peterson, 17, who sings "Stars in the Moon" and is a chorus member.

The school's choir director, Andrew Garner, said he recommended the musical to theater director Dan Stowell to give students a technically challenging example of a building block of contemporary musicals.

Although the production never went to Broadway, "Songs" was written in the 1990s when R&B and hip hop was first making its way into musical theater, Garner said.

For senior Jacob Weinheimer, 17, the musical represents some of the hardest vocal work he has done.

Weinheimer, who performs as a soloist for "She Cries" and "The World Was Dancing," said as someone not formally trained in dance he also got a lot out of learning hip hop and other avant garde styles of dance for the show.

"Working on this show has been very different than working on a more straightforward musical," he said.

One benefit of the production, Stowell said, is not having the weight of a plot and instead being able to enjoy a moment in time.

The show, he said, has served as a way to challenge students and to ask them whether they are able to take on a harder version of musical theater.

"They've responded with a big, fat 'yes,' " he said.

"Songs for a New World" will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, through Saturday, Oct. 20. Tickets are available at the door and are $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

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