The Phoenix

World Premiere
September 2011
The Mandela at Joburg Theatre
Johannesburg, South Africa

For one unforgettable week in September 2011, the Spirit of America Band presented the World Premiere of The Fall and Rise of the Phoenix on South African soil. Stunning costumes, spectacular sets, and soaring music were combined in this life-changing grand musical theater experience.

Enter into the magical world of the Phoenix and join young Rutendo on his journey of struggle, self-discovery and hope.

The Story
With the mythical land of Aspera devastated by a loss of hope and a sense of abandonment by the majestic and life-sustaining Phoenix, young Rutendo must accept the calling to which he was born. Entrusted with the mystical Egg from which the Phoenix can rise again, Rutendo sets out to restore the hope of his people. In this universal story of struggle, triumph and self discovery, Rutendo learns that only by giving of himself and sacrificing for the greater good can he lead his people to a brighter future.

Instrumental Theater:in motion
The story of the Phoenix is told through the innovative medium of Instrumental Theater:in motion. Spirit of America has developed this new genre to overcome language barriers and to excite audiences around the world. The actors ‘speak’ through their instruments and the story is conveyed through original music, staging and costuming. Instrumental Theater:in motion uniquely fuses the fine arts – music, dance, theater, design, stage craft, and more – to create an inspiring experience involving audiences like never before.

The Grand Finale of the City of Johannesburg’s 2011 Arts Alive Festival
It was with pride that Spirit of America accepted the invitation to mount this 1 week run of The Phoenix at The Mandela as the grand finale of the City of Johannesburg’s 2011 Arts Alive Festival. “We believe that Spirit of America is going to bring an incredible spirit of optimism, a sense of celebration, a sense of collaboration, and from my perspective it’s going to end 2011’s Arts Alive Festival on a wonderful high.” —Brenda Devar, Arts Alive

Performances and Youth Development Workshops
Ticketed evening shows were complemented by free matinee shows and development workshops for the youth of Johannesburg. Each day hundreds of children were bused into Joburg Theatre from SOWETO and surrounding areas for performance arts workshops including: costume design, make-up design, set construction, back stage tech, mosaic design, instrument repair, brass, woodwinds, and percussion.



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