Pippin is a Musical Journey of Extraordinary Proportion


Seniors Sarah Briscoe, Sydney Thomas, Jennifer Le perform a scene from Pippin

Hunter Eagle Spirit, Writer

On Wednesday, April 20th, University High School’s theater department premiered the vibrant musical, Pippin, and the audiences loved it.

Pippin tells the story of a prince, named Pippin, as he searches for the meaning and purpose in what he believes should be an extraordinary life. Under the guidance of the Leading Player, he goes to war, leads a revolution that leads to the murder of his father and his usurping of the throne, and falls in love with a beautiful young widow. The story is delivered by a narrator who steers the storyline and interacts with the characters and audience, giving the musical a more imaginary feel.

Pippin’s set is a colorful display that resembles a circus tent, with acrobatic equipment and moving parts. The intensely visual musical has a highly unique style and design in the showcase, performing with dance numbers, flashing lighting, and abstract props and stage designs. “This show is more colorful and more lighting based. The whole point of Pippin is more imaginative. He’s trying to find the color in his life and trying to find his purpose so we based our set on the idea of that,” said junior Hannah Kifelew.

The role of the Leading Player, performed by senior Sydney Thomas and junior Josie Pagtonia, required the actors to engage the audience. “I think it’s a harder role than my previous ones because shes’s such a realistic person and it’s more difficult to act like a real person than to act like a character in a story,” said Thomas.

Producing the Bob Fosse musical required two casts and months of practice. The theater department worked with the dance and music departments to create a show that closely reflected the Broadway version of the musical. “There were not enough hours in a day to do what a show requires and the laboriously long hours of staying at school and the late at night rehearsals were exhausting, but at the end of the day it is all worth it,” said director Mr. Alex Mendez.

In order to bring the production to life, the actors showcased their talents in singing, dancing and acting. “Since Pippin is a vocally demanding role, the most challenging part would be keeping my voice healthy all the way through, and also maintaining physical health. Everything I eat and my activity all play into this role to have my best performance,” said junior Adam Morales, who played Pippin.

Many of the seniors who have been a part of the theater department for years will be departing in a few weeks, so this will be their final performance at UHS. “It honestly is such an honor to be working with everyone for the last time. Everyone I’ve met in this department has a special place in my heart and as I do my last production here it brings me a lot of joy to finish that legacy,” said senior Nick Juergens, who played the role of Pippin.