Theatre TJC is preparing to bring “Pippin” to Jean Browne Theatre.
The musical features song by Stephen Schwartz and tells the story of a young prince, Pippin, who searches for adventure and meaning in his life.
TJC’s production is directed by theatre professor Dr. David W. Crawford and choreographed by dance professor Kristi Franks. Music professor Charles Praytor serves as musical director.
The cast includes Jaylon Crump as Leading Player, Chris Flores as Pippin, J.W. McFarland as King Charlemagne and Sean Cunningham as Lewis.
“Watching actors, directors, costumers and all the professionals get together in the pursuit of art is an absolutely beautiful thing to see,” said Flores. “Just being in an atmosphere with such talent is so inspiring.”
To prepare for this production, the cast and crew have been hard at work for months.
“Auditions were at the end of last semester,” explained McFarland. “Everyone had the chance to learn their part over Christmas break and come back ready to go when we got here. We’ve already been working on this show, really, for two months.”
Flores says that the cast typically rehearses from 6:30 p.m. to around 11 p.m. “Finding that healthy balance of being studious and being in a show has been challenging, but so, so rewarding,” he said.
“In the rehearsal process, everybody adds something really goofy and funny each day, and every time someone adds something the show just gets better and better,” said Cunningham. “It just becomes more fun that way … Our director, Dr. Crawford, has just kind of given us a lot of freedom to come up with crazy stuff each day, and he continually encourages us, ‘Just do something crazy up there, and if it’s too much, I’ll tell you to stop.’ But, he doesn’t say stop very often, so it’s been pretty crazy. But, it’s been a lot of fun.”
“My favorite part about the show would be the rehearsal process,” agreed Flores. “You come into the theatre after a long day of class, work, and life, and you just let loose!”
“Something I love about this play and getting to do this play is [that] it’s not as [much of] a serious show as other ones can be,” McFarland explained. “Like, we did ‘Hamlet’ last year, and, you know, everyone dies at the end. But, this one’s almost like a celebration of entertainment—it’s just pure entertainment. It’s not to be taken seriously, and it’s really fun to get on stage every night and have a lot of fun doing what you love to do and being with some of your greatest friends and being able to just have that comradery with all these other people. It’s just a really fun time, even at rehearsals.”
Performances of “Pippin” will take place in Jean Browne Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-23 and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 24.
“Just come ready to laugh and ready to be entertained,” said Cunningham.