STAGE-M’s Riverdays production brings new world to Big Rapids

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A NEW WORLD: Cast members Courtney Gilson-Piercey, Megan Smith, Tillie Dorgan, Denise Cosper and Zac Dorgan performed various vocally demanding numbers that all relayed the show’s theme of discovery. (Pioneer photos/Mary Mattingly)

BIG RAPIDS – They may have been rained out of the Big Rapids Community Band Shell, but that did not deter the cast of STAGE-M’s performing “Songs for a New World.”

“With a three-week rehearsal period, we did the unexpected,” said cast member Tillie Dorgan. “The crowd was great and even with the last-minute venue change, we still had a great opening night.”

“Songs for a New World” premiered Friday night at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Cast members performed solos, duets and ensemble pieces that explored multiple themes and subjects.

“It was like seeing my baby grow up,” said music director Courtney Gilson-Piercey. “There were several twists and turns along the way, but everyone came together. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Though performing indoors made several aspects of the performance easier to control, cast members did note several drawbacks.

“We don’t draw the people in Hemlock Park who might be walking by and think to check us out,” Gilson-Piercey said. “The audience we had here tonight were people who are going to come to a STAGE-M production. It would have been nice to capture others’ attention who may not think to come to the show.”

Now that opening night is done, the cast can relax.

“Even though it may be more effort for people to come see the show now that the venue has changed, I hope people remember we’re still a part of Riverdays,” director David Scott said. “Come on out and see the talent our community has to offer.”

“Songs for a New World” takes place again at 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 726 Fuller Ave.

SNUBBING SANTA: Courtney Gilson-Piercey plays a disgruntled Mrs. Claus chastising Santa Claus with her rendition of "Surabaya Santa." (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

SNUBBING SANTA: Courtney Gilson-Piercey plays a disgruntled Mrs. Claus chastising Santa Claus with her rendition of “Surabaya Santa.” (Pioneer photo/Mary Mattingly)

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