IU Theatre and Dance has magic to do with Pippin, the first musical of the 2018-2019 season. Pippin, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson, concerns Prince Pippin’s coming-of-age journey aided by a mysterious performance troupe and the troupe’s savvy Leading Player. Pippin is searching for his life’s purpose which, he believes, is the key to happiness, fulfillment, and an extraordinary life.
Pippin and his father, Charles, are loosely based on two figures of the early Middle Ages: Charlemagne, crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 C.E., and his first-born son, Pepin. Though the plot is fictional and presents no historical accuracy regarding either of the characters, the complicated relationship between Pepin and his father was intriguing to composer Stephen Schwartz while he was studying at Carnegie Mellon University in 1967. The musical, Schwartz wrote, “started as a sort of a medieval court intrigue musical melodrama. And then it gradually transmogrified into being semi-autobiographical. And then it turned into the story of my generation — as I saw it.” Schwartz’s work also includes the gravity-defying Wicked and Godspell, the latter produced by IU Theatre and Dance in the summer of 2014.
As Pippin’s future rests in the hands of the Leading Player, will he find happiness in his extraordinary adventures or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory? Pippin is a magical, poignant, and unforgettable Grammy and Tony-award winning musical. The original 1972 Broadway production, directed and choreographed by the celebrated Bob Fosse, received four Tony Awards. Diane Paulus’s 2013 production won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. As of February 2018, the original run of Pippin is the 34th longest-running Broadway show.
Kenneth L. Roberson, Professor of Practice in Musical Theatre, directs and choreographs IU's production working alongside Musical Director Terry LaBolt. The two previously collaborated on last year’s Urinetown. Joining the creative duo are M.F.A. students Jeremy Smith (Scenic Design), Justin Gannaway (Costume Design), Darrian Brimberry (Lighting Design) and undergraduate Macy Kloville (Sound Design). The production is stage managed by Rochelle Hudson.
The cast of Pippin includes: Nina Donville, Ali Lidbury, Cassia Scagnoli, Luke Major as Charles, Victoria Wiley as Leading Player, and Adam Hass-Hill in the title role.
What: IU's Theatre presents Pippin, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson,
When: November 2 – 3 and November 6 – 10 at 7:30 p.m., and November 10 at 2 p.m.
Where: Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.
Tickets: Regular admission is $20 for adults, $10 for students. (812) 855-1103 or theatre.indiana.edu.
For more info and interview requests, please email Madison Colquette at firstname.lastname@example.org.