Graduating seniors perform one last weekend of Pippin
The Leading Player and her troupe have Magic to Do as they sing their welcome to audiences on the last weekend of the Ridgefield High School production of Pippin, presented on March 24-25, in the high school’s Anne S. Richardson Auditorium, at 7:30 both evenings.
Prince Pippin might join the troupe of actors, follow his father and king into war, or find his true calling in the pastoral countryside. His zest for life and pursuit of happiness are made more urgent by his awareness that time is passing faster than he might like. Each character in the show experiences this in some way, feeling passions, fears and frustrations common to all people, regardless of the setting or the century.
The Stephen Schwartz and Roger Hirson musical is directed by Sherry Cox and features Tyler Carey as Pippin, Sarah Ford as The Leading Player, Aidan Meachem as King Charles, Sarah Thorn as Fastrada, Hazel Neil as Berthe, Rosie Staudt as Catherine, Casey Wishna as Lewis, and Evan Smolin as Theo. Dance captain is Rico Froehlich and the stage manager is Miriam Ehrlinspiel.
Most of the lead cast and many on crew, tech support and in the orchestra are graduating seniors participating in their last of many RHS shows. Senior Hazel Neil, who plays Pippin’s grandmother Berthe, says, “Being in the theater program at RHS has been a most wonderful experience, not only because I’ve found my own little family of friends and mentors, and it has taught me a great deal about time management and creativity, but also because it has given me the opportunity to inspire others to have the courage to be themselves and pursue something they love.”
Senior Casey Wishna says, “I am sad to be leaving my amazingly talented friends, but I know we’re going off to bigger and better things. My four years in the RHS VPA department have changed my life. Sherry Cox has built me not only as an actor, but as a human being, and has taught me almost all of what I know today about the craft of storytelling. I will miss her dearly and hope her influence and talent rubs off on many more young actors to come.”
The production has benefited from an adult team of volunteers who worked with the students to build and paint the elaborate clock and working gears on stage that symbolize the cyclical nature of Pippin’s journey and the passage of time. They are Jim Cox, Elaine Gordon, Don Klotz, Judi Stoogenke, and Michelle Wishna. Additional community support comes from Playbill advertisers and from the many volunteers who give their time at the performances. Ridgefield Cleaners has generously been cleaning the school’s theater costumes for free for more than a decade, and costume-makers Molly Cook and Jeannine Carr also note the support of Renee Purdy, who heads the costume shop at Connecticut’s Warner Theater.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students with school ID and for seniors age 60 and older. Ridgefield seniors who have a Gold Card may enjoy one show for free, but must have the Gold Card with them for admission. Tickets will be sold at the door. Online sales at http://www.rhsperformingarts.info/.
RHS telephone: 203-894-5750.