That True Phoenix

Graphic Design by   Jacqueline Manoharan

Graphic Design by Jacqueline Manoharan

By Daniel John Kelley

Directed by Christopher Diercksen

That True Phoenix is the story of Lorenzo Da Ponte: the most interesting man you've never heard of. Far more than just the Librettist for Mozart's greatest Operas, Da Ponte still ended up as a mere footnote in history. Based on his own highly embellished memoirs, That True Phoenix chronicles Da Ponte's life from exiled revolutionary schoolteacher in Venice, to disgraced court poet in Vienna, to Pennsylvania grocery story owner, to Columbia University Professor in New York City and tells the true story of a perpetual immigrant who changed his story to become the true embodiment of the American Dream.

That True Phoenix is Team Awesome Robot's long-term script development project with playwright, Daniel John Kelley. Their production in Spring 2017 was the culmination of a year of investigation into the improbable life of Lorenzo Da Ponte.

Meet the Team


Lighting Design: Chelsie McPhilimy

Sound Design: Beth Lake

Costume Design: Caitlin Cisek

Properties Design: Jennifer Neads

Projection Design: Chet Miller

Stage Manager: Lauren Schatten

Assistant Director: Brittany Ayers

Assistant Producer: Natalia Lopresti


DA PONTE: Curry Whitmire*

ACTOR 1: Samantha Fairfield Walsh

ACTOR 2: Kayla Jackmon

ACTOR 3: Siho Ellsmore*

ACTOR 4: Sarin Monae West

MOZART: Isaiah Tanenbaum*

*appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity
Photos By: Kacey Stamats
New York IT Awards