This past week, the Brandeis Department of Theater Arts announced their Fall 2015 shows—Songs for a New World and Macbeth. The plays will be directed by rising seniors Rachel Liff ’16 and Zoe Golub-Sass ’16, respectively. Songs for a New World will run from Oct. 15-18, while Macbeth will be presented Dec. 3-6.

Songs for a New World, written by Jason Robert Brown, is a contemporary song cycle that explores timelessness and “life, love and the choices we make,” according to the department’s announcement. Liff was asked to direct the musical by Bob Walsh, the artistic director of the Theater department, who she has worked with previously on multiple productions. The show will be performed on the Mainstage in Spingold Theater Center, which presents its own challenges, Liff explained in an interview with the Justice: “It’s a four-person show typically, so fitting it to the bigger theater and making it work is a challenge. Because the play is so abstract, there isn’t a single plotline to visually work with designers and make that come to life and make sense.”

Although Liff has not yet met with a set designer, she already has something of a vision for Songs for a New World, based on its abstract web of characters, themes and plots. “I’m really excited to figure out the overarching themes and what goes into it, but each character [creates] a new character in a new world for every song,” she explained. By discovering these intricacies of the plot and world of the play, Liff hopes that people will connect with the play on different levels.

Golub-Sass explained in an interview with the Justice that she has studied Shakespeare’s works since she was ten years old and has been interested in Macbeth for years. “I feel like it’s a very fast-paced, compelling play. It’s very gritty, but I also feel like it has that poetry and [is] also very accessible. It’s a lot of fun to play around with.” Golub-Sass will adapt the classic to a modern interpretation while maintaining the original themes of the play.

In preparing for the production, Golub-Sass explained that she is “interested in looking at what we think of as a crime drama mixed with what Shakespeare gives us—how the genre forms the content.”