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\'Pippin\' Brings Music to the Juniata Theatre Stage

(Posted October 29, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A young man finds adventure, knowledge, sex and fulfillment, as well as discovering his royal heritage in the acclaimed musical \"Pippin,\" to be staged by the Juniata College Theatre department at 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 8-10 and Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 15-17, in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets for the production are $3 for students with I.D and $7 for adults. Tickets are available at the box office on the day of the performance, or at Juniata\'s information desk at Ellis Hall one week before opening night. Tickets also can be ordered by calling (814) 641-3608. The story of \"Pippin,\" which is based on a fictional story about one of the sons of the French king Charlemagne, centers on a traveling group of performers who invite the young prince Pippin to tell stories of his hopes and dreams. The narrative tells the audience, through soaring ballads and infectious dance numbers, of Pippin\'s journey through war, glory, intrigue and eventually fulfillment with a happy home and family. \"Pippin\" is an acclaimed Broadway musical that has, since its Broadway debut in 1972, has become a staple of high school and college theatre productions. The rousing, pop-influenced score was written by Stephen Schwartz, who went on to write other seminal musicals, such as \"Godspell\" and \"Wicked.\" Schwartz also won three Academy Awards for songs he composed for the two animated feature films \"Pocahantas\" and \"Prince of Egypt.\" The staging of \"Pippin,\" which is set in the Middle Ages, has always been contemporary, filled with hip costumes and tongue-in-cheek sets and dialogue. Juniata\'s production, which is directed by Kathleen Clarke, a member of Juniata\'s professional theatre program, The Gravity Project, will feature its own unique take on staging \"Pippin,\" using the industrial look of the von Liebig Theatre as inspiration. Juniata\'s theatre students also will be collaborating with the college\'s music department as the musical\'s score will be directed by James Latten, assistant professor of music. In addition, several Gravity Project members will be involved in the production. Stephanie Skura, who has choreographed many of Juniata\'s recent productions, will direct the choreography. Randy Ward, resident designer for the Gravity Project, created the scenic design. The Juniata students participating in the cast are: Josh Beckel, a junior from Hollidaysburg, Pa.; Caroline Binder, a freshman from McConnellsburg, Pa.; Tricia Bitetto, a senior from Ringoes, N.J.; Charles \"Wylieâ?? Earnhart, a junior from Mercer, Pa.; Alyssa Erb, a sophomore from Hollidaysburg; Skye Hatton-Hopkins, a junior from Bellefonte, Pa.; Kellyn Miller, a senior from Tyrone, Pa., Megan Monahan, a junior from Pottstown, Pa.; Gerald Prosser, a sophomore from Hollidaysburg; Danielle Rohar, a junior from Cresson, Pa.; Allison Strausberg, a sophomore from Bel-Air, Md.; and Mandi Yeager, a senior from Curwensville, Pa.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.