While the elements have not cooperated, Watertown High School’s production of the musical “Pippin” will go on this week as scheduled.
Monday afternoon the 30 plus members of the cast fine tuned their numbers while the crew worked on the scenery and lighting at the WHS Auditorium. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15; Friday, March 16; and Saturday, March 17.
The show is a bit of a mind bender for the actor who are putting on show within a show, said WHS junior Daniel Vanryn.
“It is really cool, it is almost a show within a show. There are two levels of the show.” said Vanryn.
The story in “Pippin” follows a traveling theater troupe which is putting on a play set in the time of the Holy Roman Empire, and includes Emperor Charlemagne (who Vanryn is playing). Jaylene Dejesus, a junior who is one of the band of players in the theater troupe, said the actors have to think about playing multiple characters.
“Every person is playing an actor who is being an character in the traveling theater troupe’s play,” Dejesus said.
Like other musicals, there is plenty of choreography to go along with the musical numbers in Pippin. In the WHS production some of the numbers feature movements are not as prescriptive as in most musicals. Players choose their own movements to fit their character in the play.
“There are not as many rules to follow,” Vanryn said. “You get to make it who your character is – a clown, an acrobat or whatever.”
But with more freeform movement came some growing pains.
“It was at least two weeks before we stopped bumping into each other,” Dejesus said.
For fans of Broadway Pippin is a familiar production. The musical debuted in 1972 with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson. The original Broadway production was produced by Stuart Ostrow and was directed by Bob Fosse. It has been revived for Broadway multiple times.
The leads in the WHS production are senior Sandra Chacon as the Leading Player and senior Liam Forde as Pippin. The play is directed by Beth Peters (acting), Dan Wulf (music), and Laura Di Benedetti (choreography). Also helping with choreography is Aine Dirrane.
Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at the door. Watertown High School is located at 50 Columbia St., Watertown.
See more photos from the rehearsal of Pippin below: