Pratt High School's 'Songs' production was awe-inspiring

Brandon Case
Pratt Tribune
Tess Clarkson, and fellow Pratt High School students poured their hearts, souls and energy into performances of "Songs for a New World" this past weekend in Pratt.

How do you capture youthful optimism, exuberance and excitement?

You take a musical, originally created for only four actors, and spin it for a much larger cast of high school and middle school students.

That’s what director Arica Malone did with the recent production of “Songs for a New World” at Pratt High School, which concluded this past weekend. She reminded audience members at the outset of the play that its author left the interpretation of the play up to individual productions.

“Songs” featured numerous vignettes that focused on the story of the human condition, with all of its challenges, choices, difficulties, and hope. The numerous actresses and actors strived to portray the angst and the anguish, the possibility and promise, of the characters within each of the stories. By the musical’s end, in my estimation at least, the cast and crew helped the audience to experience that which every play or musical seeks to achieve: suspension of disbelief. In other words, the imaginary becomes real, and the chords of human emotions are plucked.

On a related note of plucking chords, the house band did a bang up job of helping to create an appropriate mood for each vignette.

While there were excellent individual performances here—and it would be good to highlight each one—suffice it to say that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Hats are off and much applause goes out to each actor and actress, as well as each member of the stage crew who helped to ensure that the production went as seamlessly as possible.

Many weeks of hard work paid off in a great performance.

“Songs” highlighted the depth and breadth of the many talented individuals within the Pratt school district. These youth are in the midst of developing their talents and character, and, based upon their performances, they are well on their way.