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The Ross Ragland Cultural Center’s 2nd Stage Series presents “Songs for a New World” at 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday, according to a news release.

“Songs for a New World” is a musical theatre review, that launched the career of Tony Award winning Jason Robert Brown — “The Last Five Years,” “Parade,” and “The Bridges of Madison County.” While the show does not have an evident story line, it is considered an “abstract musical” — a theatrical song cycle, revolving around a central theme: “the moment of decision.”

According to Brown, “It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.”

Each song tells its own story, from the perspective of the character who is singing. The versatile cast members play a series of varying characters, ranging from well known historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus and Betsy Ross, to stereotypical personas, like an Upper-East-Side wealthy housewife and an inner-city impoverished basketball prodigy. The songs’ stories are sometimes outrageously hilarious, sometimes desperate or optimistic, sometimes informative or sorrowful; but each song is relatable, allowing the audience to be carried in an arc of emotions and ideas, departing with the awareness that tomorrow will be “a new world”.

Tickets for “Songs for a New World, are $15 before transaction fees, and can be purchased at the theater box office at 218 N. Seventh St. For ticket information and reservations call 541-884-5483 or visit the theater’s website at to buy tickets online.