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The National School of the Arts is proud to showcase their bright young talented performers during their annual NSA Festival of the Arts, running from Tuesday 6 – Sunday 11 March 2018 on the various NSA and Joburg Theatre stages. Featuring a diverse programme of youth-focused productions, the NSA Festival of the Arts, formerly known as Festival of Fame, is set for a 5-day celebration of art, dance, drama and music that is sure to delight Jozi audiences.
Headlining the impressive festival line-up is the flagship production; The Wiz.
The Wiz will be on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre from Friday 9 March – Sunday 11 March.
This vibrant, feel-good, award-winning Broadway musical is a magical retelling of Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – the modern American fairy tale of Dorothy Gale who finds herself in the mythical Land of Oz following a violent tornado.
Audiences join Dorothy and her travelling friends, the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion as they Ease on Down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to meet the magical Wiz. They all have a problem for the Wiz to solve; Dorothy needs to get home to Kansas, the Scarecrow needs a brain, the Tinman a heart, and the Cowardly Lion courage.
Set against a uniquely urban backdrop of familiar landmarks and skylines, The Wiz is an uplifting musical of good triumphing over evil, liberation, and self-discovery. Ultimately, The Wiz encourages us to rekindle the transformative magic that resides deep in our hearts. Sometimes all you need is self-belief to set your course safely home.
The score is a dazzling mix of rock, gospel, R&B, and soul, and the emerging stars from the NSA will delight from curtain up to the finale.
“The Wiz is a perfect musical for the National School of the Arts to present. I was privileged to sit in on all the auditions and the talent that we have in the school is truly breathtaking,” said Brenda Sakellarides; Chairperson of the School Governing Body.
“It is with complete conviction that we can say that these voices will be heard over and over again on professional stages going forward. The stage is simply bursting with potential,” concluded Sakellarides.
The production is in the inspiring hands of director and choreographer Tracey Human. Additional choreography comes from Oscar Buthelezi and Laura Cameron, who recently joined the staff of the NSA’s Dance Department. Musical direction is by Marten Van Wyk. Digital projections are in the hands of award-winning scenic designer Wilhelm Disbergen while Cassandra Parsons brings her flair to the costume designs. The Wiz will leave the audience with a beat in their feet and a melody in their hearts.
The Wiz follows an impressive line-up of recent successful NSA musicals staged at Joburg Theatre; Schools Will Rock You (2017); Once on this Island (2016); Fame (2015) and Sweet Charity (2014).
The annual NSA musical allows the triple threat performers, those who can sing, dance and act, to shine. The role of Dorothy is played by Angella Mulaudzi who played Killer Queen in the 2017 production of We Will Rock You. The roles of the three friends are shared by Vuyo Maboe, Lesedi Masheane (Scarecrow); Nkosikhona Mnisi, Loyiso Gqanabisa (Lion); Tshepo Skosana, Deano Paulsen (Tin Man); while the title role of The Wiz is shared by Tumelo Mogoashoa and Siphelele Siphiwa. Siphelele received a 100% scholarship to attend the Joffrey Ballet summer school for musical theatre in New York following the Musical Theatre Boot Camp which she attended in January courtesy of Duane Alexander and Anton Luitingh of MTW.
For perfect family entertainment, “Ease on Down the Road” with The National School of the Arts to the magical land of Oz. In a world of good and evil witches, munchkins, flying monkeys, dancing poppies, crows, mice and Emerald City Citizens, we find a message of hope, acceptance, love, and redemption. We recognise the lessons that Dorothy learns as she faces the reality of growing up in the happy and loving company of a Scarecrow, a Tinman and a Lion.
NSA Festival of the Arts is made possible through the generous support of the RMB Fund and The National Lotteries Commission.