Past Productions


Shakespeare Schools Festival

Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing – currently in rehearsal.


A Whole New World – A Musical Review

A song and dance review featuring 14 young people. This show featured a strong vocal group who performed songs from animated movies. The cast performed for over 300 people over 5 performances. The feedback received was awesome and varied from – well -disciplined to what great voices. Through pure team work and effort from the crew of Olivia Prinsloo, Karin Krige, Alma Mentz and all the other helpers we managed to put together a great show in approximately 8-weeks.


JUNGLE BOOK – May 2014

Jungle Book ran successfully for 5 performances at Doxa Deo English Ministry. The 2-act musical production was well supported by the community and the cast performed like true professionals. The 14 young performers acted well, understood their lines and character and were dedicated and hard working. This is Rising Star Academy’s first production in Hartbeespoort and was supported by ACT – Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity as well as Pick n Pay Harties and Sittigs Nursery. The show saw over 300 people attend the production – young and old alike – some even came twice.

All the productions below took place in Durban when Andrea Nel resided in the area.

SOLD OUT RUN! Honk! Junior

SOLD OUT RUN! Honk! Junior is a musical for the whole family based on the beloved children’s story “The Ugly Duckling”. Honk! Junior tells the story of a little duckling that isn’t quite like the others. Since it first hatched in 1993 Stiles & Drewe’s musical Honk! has been a world-wide stage sensation that has been seen by over 5 million people and wingedits way around the world in over 8000 productions. Honk! has won multiple awards including the 2000 Olivier Award for Best Musical (beating the Lion King and Mamma Mia for the prize). This is the second year we have opened our doors to students and non-students to perform on a professional stage.

Honk! Junior featured a cast of 25 talented young performers, from Durban and surrounds, aged 10-18 years. Production director Gillian Brunings indicated that the show has a strong message regarding the acceptance people’s differences. “Being different can be hard,” said Gillian “this production shows kids and parents that differences can be beautiful and, no matter what “someone out there loves ya warts and all”, to quote a line from the show.” Choreography and costumes by Andrea Nel.

KZN Women in Business Year End Function

Rising Star Academy were contracted by the KZN Women in Business to provide for their year end function in December 2012. The entertainment, three singers Marianthe Panas, Kiara Theunissen and Emma Devine gave a stunning performance. Pictured to the right we have our three performers, Gillian and Andrea from Rising Star Academy and Emma Dunk 2012/2013 KZN Women in Business Chairperson.

Rising Star Academy Choir – Carols by Candlelight

Headed up by a teacher our first RSA choir performed on the 8th December to an audience of over 200 people. All proceeds from this event went to the Kloof and Highway SPCA. Feedback from the SPCA – “So far R6311 has been raised from the evening, which is fantastic. The most raised in the past three years and three times more than what we did last year. I have had so many amazing comments.”

2011 Productions


School, exams, aliens, intergalactic rock-battles – who said the life of a teenager was boring? Rising Star Academy presented an original Youth Theatre SA Rock Musical that ran at Seabrooke’s Theatre 9th-12th November.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011 – Review by Caroline Smart – Rising Star Performing Arts Academy presents energetic theatre production. Some 23 cast members, backstage crew and a number of  hectic scene changes on the Seabrooke’s stage at DHS! That’s some challenge but one that has been handled with aplomb by the two directors of the Rising Star Performing Arts Academy, Andrea Nel and Gillian Brunings.

With an amusing script written by Gillian Brunings and directed by Andrea Nel, Galaxy Rock! is the Academy’s first major production. It is set in Durban which is suddenly invaded by a group of space aliens. They have misinterpreted a call from a young girl band who are fanatic players of Band Hero, the console rock game. The aliens send out a challenge to compete in the ultimate “Rock Battle”, the winner to decide the fate of Earth.

In striking makeup, the aliens are played by Pierre Parrott as Major Zon supported by Jasmyn Connor (Zing); Erich Viviers (Zorb) and Precious Schmitt (Zoot). The band features Marinel Taljaard (Jess), Marianthe Panas (Jamie); Kiara Teunissen (Storm) and Sarah Thompson (Toni), the latter giving a focused and notable performance. Adding fireworks to the rock battle is Khanyi Mlaba as the volatile Jo. Mention must also be made of Roxy McVean as Toni’s long-suffering mother, Gareth Naylor as Principal Wilson, Casey Milledge as the teacher and Zane Meslani as the DJ Ray Dio.

Lyrics on the Lawn saw an audience of 200 people being entertained by Rising Star Performing  Arts Academy students at the Durban Botanic Gardens, Amphitheatre, Sunday 25th September. Junior Stars performed selected pieces of poetry, Senior Stars performed improvisation. Rising Star Academy examination students performed monologues and mime pieces. Plus cast members from the 2011 Rising Star Academy Musical “Galaxy Rock!” performed various songs and musical pieces. An entertaining afternoon was had by all!
African Magic – An original African 3 act play written and directed by Rising Star Academy(Directed by Andrea Nel). Rising Star Academy were contracted by Highbury Prep in 2011 to direct and stage their annual Senior Primary production.