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Darla Day is a circus performer (Cirque du Soleil). Nik Day is a songwriter (Peace in Christ, I Will Go and Do, A Great Work). They combined their talents to create a large-scale cirque production called “Fighter” that addresses the hard issues with spoken word, original pop songs, singers, circus acts, dancers, aerial performers, and more. It is a beautiful story about a phoenix who overcomes her fears and rises from her ashes. It's an empowering, inspiring show that the whole family will enjoy. It will change the way your kids look at themselves and the world around them!
WATCH A CLIP FROM FIGHTER
A phoenix, living in the cirque world in the sky, is overcome by Inner Darkness, a sinister hooded figure, and falls to our world in a pile of ashes. She ends up in a high school where she faces the difficulties of adolescent life. She meets three characters, the Football Team Captain, the Cheerleader, and the Valedictorian, who are all struggling with their own issues. Each of these characters performs on their own cirque "apparatus" that is symbolic of their inner pain while singers perform the original songs assigned to each character. The narrator raps his narrations and invites us into the minds of these characters. The phoenix, one by one, helps these characters, and in turn loses her ashes until she becomes a beautiful phoenix again and performs an amazing number on the aerial silks at the end of the show, symbolizing her ability to fly again and return to her world in the sky. She says goodbye to her new friends as she returns home, stronger, wiser, and more beautiful than she was before.
The phoenix is a magical creature who lives in the cirque world in the sky. She is learning how to fly from the Grand Phoenix, who she hopes to be like someday. As she struggles with feelings of self doubt, Inner Darkness overtakes her and she falls from the sky and ends up in a high school setting on our world. She meets the Football Team Captain, the Cheerleader, and the Valedictorian, who all have their own struggles. The Phoenix figures out how to help each one of them and as time passes she loses all of her ashes. She then does performs a beautiful act on the aerial silks, showing that she has finally learned how to fly. She also finds out that the Grand Phoenix has been watching over her all along. Played by Makayla Finlinson.
The Football Team Captain is amazing at sports and the whole school looks up to him. He has taken the football team to state championships, but he is keeping a secret that is eating him alive. He doesn't want anyone to know, especially his parents, that he is gay. What if his parents don't accept him? What if everyone at school rejects him? He performs on the aerial chains during the song, "Chains," showing how trapped he feels. The Phoenix knows his secret and shows him unconditional love, which helps him learn how to love and accept himself. Played by Alan Brinkerhoff.
The Cheerleader is popular and looks perfect on the outside, but feels a lot of pain inside. She doesn't live in a safe home and has low confidence, but she hides it by taking cute selfies and bullying the less popular kids at school. She doesn't want anyone to see the sadness that she feels, but the Phoenix sees her as she is. The Cheerleader performs a dance number and does part of her act on an aerial globe during the song "Out of My Head." The Phoenix helps her get out of her head even though she was bullied by the Cheerleader, and they become friends. The Cheerleader finds the confidence and self love she has been searching for. Played by Marlie Rich.
The Valedictorian feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. She feels valued by being the top of her class and doing everything right. She is very intelligent and responsible, but feels an immense pressure to be perfect. She feels like she is drowning in all of her expectations, and can barely breathe. She performs on the aerial Lyra during the song, "Underwater." The Phoenix sees and feels her pain, and helps her overcome some of her anxieties, and the Valedictorian learns how to breathe deeply and starts to allow herself to enjoy life and put less expectations on herself. Played by Kelsey Conrad.
The Narrator raps the stories of the Phoenix, the Football Team Captain, the Cheerleader, and the Valedictorian, and helps us see what's happening inside their heads. At the end of the show when the Phoenix learns how to fly, he sings "We're in This Together." He sings, "When you stare in the mirror, everyone's staring back at you. When you feel like you're lost, you've got someone to hold onto. When life seems to break your heart, you're not the only one. And it won't last forever. We're in this together." Played by Oba Bonner.
The Grand Phoenix is the queen of the skies. She rules over her world with grace and love and helps the other magical creatures become who they were meant to be. In the beginning, in the cirque world in the sky, the Grand Phoenix is helping the Phoenix learn how to fly. She allows Inner Darkness to enter her kingdom and overcome the Phoenix, leading to her fall. The Grand Phoenix watches over the Phoenix and helps her navigate this strange new world. The Grand Phoenix knows that to truly learn how to fly, the Phoenix needs to learn how to love those around her. She gives the Phoenix the strength she needs to shed her ashes and become the beautiful, glorious being she was always destined to be. Played by Holly Ann Jarvis.
Inner Darkness is the evil force that whispers lies and tells the characters that they will never be good enough. He has an obsession with the Phoenix because she is everything he isn't – beautiful, glorious, and kind. He overpowers the Phoenix at the beginning of the show and makes her burn into a pile of ashes. He performs his death-defying number on the aerial straps and makes the Phoenix feel helpless. But his hold over her doesn't last long. The Phoenix learns how to fight Inner Darkness, and overpowers him in the end. Played by Mark Webber.
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