WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 9, 2008) -- Spirit of America, a historical pageant performed by Soldiers, will be staged this weekend in Rochester, N.Y., and Sept. 19-20 in Worcester, Mass.

More than 300 Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and the U.S. Army Band, "Pershing's Own," will perform historical re-enactments, musical entertainment and precision military drill. The shows will be free at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester and the DCU Center in Worcester.

Spirit of America portrays the history of America through the eyes of Soldiers. Historical accounts taken directly from Soldiers' letters and diaries infuse history with drama designed to entertain while encouraging viewers to think about how history relates to them, Military District of Washington officials said.

The entire production is a military operation and dress rehearsals began two weeks ago.

"Stay on it," Col. Joe Busch, commander of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, told his Soldiers portraying American warriors of past centuries following a run-through of the entire show Aug. 26. "If you need something next week and aren't letting someone know, shame on you."

Performers and stagehands have been putting the show together on the floor of the D.C. Armory.

Blocking the movements of the various units participating in the show, finding the right gesture for dialogue given in the script, filling the stage, timing the movement of props and people, getting it all to mesh, these are the tasks of the rehearsals.

Getting the ammunition, planning for movement of the lights and equipment, arranging transportation and lodging for the company, these are the logistical feats that must be part of the planning and execution.

The script has been updated and modified from last year, changed around the edges, but not in the essentials of a program that tells the story of 233 years of American history.

Since 1975, Spirit of America has informed, entertained and inspired citizens of all ages, presenting the history and development of the U.S. Army from its very origins through the wars, conflicts and missions that have molded the Army and the nation.

Spirit of America performances are open to the general public and admission is free, however, a ticket is needed to attend. There are three ways to obtain tickets -- Ticketmaster, mail order to the arena, or directly from the arena box office. For more information on ticketing, go to <a href="http://spiritofamerica.mdw.army.mil/ticketing.html"target=_blank>spiritofamerica.mdw.army.mil/ticketing.html.</a>

The performance schedule follows:
<b>Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, N.Y.</b>
Friday, September 12, 10:30 a.m.
Friday, September 12, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 13, 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 13, 7:30 p.m.

<b>DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.</b>
Friday, September 19. 10:30 a.m. (ideal for school field trips)
Friday, September 19, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 20, 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.

No D.C. area performances this year.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16