A Look Back at HHS’s Pippin Production
Those who missed out on seeing the show can still relive the magic of Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin by contacting HCAM studios in Hopkinton. If you are interested, the DVDs are ready now at $15 a piece. Just contact HCAM’s own Mike Torosian using this email: [email protected]
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The drama department’s musical production Pippin closed its curtains for the final time about three weeks ago. Roughly three months of putting it all together–sets, costumes, music, dancing, dialogue, character development, and cues–culminated with four back-to-back performances that impressed audience and also cast members alike.
“I had a number of people come up to me and just say they were blown away,” director Valerie VonRosenvinge said.
Cast members like Bella Komodromos also expressed being pleased with their production.
“I was really satisfied with them,” Komodromos said. “The people who saw them–saw the shows–said they really loved it, and you know, it’s always nice to have good feedback, but even if I didn’t get that, it was still such a great thing to do with all of my friends.”
The story of Pippin is essentially about a young man who goes on a quest to find profound meaning and complete fulfillment in his life. The main character, Pippin, played by junior Galen Graham, is loosely based off of the actual son of King Charlemagne back in the days of the Holy Roman Empire.
And without spoiling too much, it is a very layered work of theater, one that may seem whimsical on the surface but also contains some seriously dark undertones and symbolism.
“It can be enjoyed on two levels,” VonRosenvinge said. “It can be enjoyed on a very surface level just by virtue of the music, and the dance, and the colors, and all of that. And then it can be appreciated on a second, more deep level, which is the level I try to get the students to really understand so that they can communicate it effectively: about what it is to lead a meaningful life, which I think is a really important thing for us to consider.”
According to VonRosenvinge, the cast apparently communicated these complex ideas well. And in general, the cast and crew seemed proud of their results for the most part, despite the difficulties that come with putting on such an advanced production.
“It was really fun. It was aggravating at times because sometimes people didn’t follow through on different things they said they were going to do, “ crew member Caroline Goodwin said. “But I don’t know, it was just always very exciting and very fast-moving, and I kind of liked that.”
Komodromos, who has danced in a variety of shows in the past, also said, “I love to dance in the first place, but I’ve never done a show with Fosse choreography, which is much different from the tap dancing that we’ve done. It’s really fun. It’s challenging, but you know, you just learn how to do it and it’s awesome.”
The show itself cost around $7,300 to mount, which includes payments for rights and royalties, new props, and professional musicians. However, the fruits of the cast’s labor may well have been worth it. Over the course of those four performances, they raised roughly $1,000 in profits from ticket sales.