For four weeks, Broadway veteran Jim Poulos is in his hometown of Novato to direct Songs for a New World, which opens ’s season and performs on July 8, 9 and 10 at San Marin High School. Already, the student singer-actors are thrilled about getting direction from a man who once played a starring role in Rent. In fact, cast members said Poulos is inspiring and demanding.
“Jim sets the bar high and teaches us methods to achieve those goals,” said performer Skylar Collins. “Dedicated to telling the story, he's inspiring us to work hard and give our best performances.”
“Jim’s experience and tips about how things work in professional theater are really interesting,” said company member Rae Davoren, a San Marin grad. “I think they will help in the future and he has really helped me improve my performance”
“Jim is the only vocal coach I’ve ever had,” said company member Fernando Siu. “He gets into singing technique, words, everything. He is passionate while being super nice at the same time. He knows what he is talking about.”
For a Novato Patch feature about Jim Poulos, click .
Songs For A New World is a musical revue created from the songs of Jason Robert Brown, composer-lyricist of critically acclaimed works such as Parade, The Last 5 Years and 13. In Songs for a New World, Brown takes the audience from the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to a ledge on the 57th floor of a Fifth Avenue penthouse to meet a startling array of characters. They range from a young man who has believes basketball is his ticket out of the ghetto, to a woman whose dream of marrying rich lands her the man of her dreams but a soulless marriage.
Poulos said the lessons he wants to convey are simple to describe, difficult to achieve.
“Preparation is everything,” he said. “With enough preparation you can forget everything and be present for the audience. The audience wants to watch a performer relate to someone or something. They don’t want to watch the performer ‘act.’ A program like Marin Summer Theater teaches an actor to go with their first, best instincts, and not over-think what they are doing on stage. “
After Songs For a New World, MST will present the comedy Once In A Lifetime on July 14, 15, 16, 17. West Side Story will close the MST season on July 28, 29, 30 and 31.
Tickets for all MST performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. They can be purchased online at MarinSummerTheater.org and at the front office. Performance times for Songs for A New World are 8 p.m. on July 8 & 9 and at 2 p.m. on July 10. All performances are at the Emily Gates Student Center at San Marin High.