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Pippin Promises an Extraordinary Show to Embrace the Beauty of Ordinary Life

“Is life akin to a stage performance?”

Georgetown’s theater community is poised to explore this question later this month through the collaborative production of Pippin by Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society and Nomadic Theatre.

Scheduled to grace the stage of Poulton Hall from April 11-20, this musical delves into the journey of Pippin, the fictional offspring of King Charlemagne, as he navigates diverse paths in his pursuit of an extraordinary existence, guided by the Leading Player.

Director Drew Lent (CAS ’25) expressed, “Pippin resonates with college students, myself included, and any young individual grappling with self-discovery or seeking a sense of purpose in life.”

In a university environment where students often fixate on securing prestigious, high-paying positions for societal validation, Pippin advocates for an alternative narrative: a life centered on simplicity and authenticity.

Sean Rafferty (CAS ’26), the stage manager, reflected, “The themes of Pippin strike a chord with many at Georgetown. It raises the question: Is it imperative to be exceptional? Must one aim for grandeur, or can contentment be found in life’s subtleties?”

While the production encourages embracing life’s simpler pleasures, the team behind Pippin assures that the show itself will be a spectacle. The creative direction aims to balance grandeur with introspection, emphasizing the contrast between a flashy yet superficial existence and a quieter, more fulfilling life.

Caroline Samoluk (CAS ’25), portraying the Leading Player, highlighted the show’s extravagance, describing it as the epitome of musical theater with its vibrant dance numbers, powerful vocals, and compelling acting.

Pippin demands more than just singing, acting, and dancing skills. It challenges performers with acrobatics and other unexpected feats, showcasing their versatility,” Samoluk remarked. “It truly requires a triple threat performance.”

In one captivating dance sequence, the ensemble captivates the audience with red hula hoops and exercise balls, culminating in a visually stunning tableau. The choreography draws inspiration from Bob Fosse’s distinctive, jazzy style, adding depth and showcasing the cast and crew’s talents.

Beyond its theatrical elements, Pippin blurs the line between reality and performance, frequently engaging the audience and teasing a showstopping finale. Lent’s innovative set design further enhances this immersive experience, with the stage featuring a runway-like design outlined with lightbulbs and a vibrant red curtain, constantly reminding viewers of the theatrical nature of the production.

Embedded within this emphasis on theatricality is a poignant message addressing the challenges faced by actors within the industry. Lent juxtaposes the glamorous facade of performances with the gritty reality of actors’ struggles, shedding light on their underappreciated dedication and hardships.

By transforming Poulton Hall into a setting reminiscent of a worn-down bar, Lent underscores the harsh conditions in which actors often operate, juxtaposing elegance with grit to underscore the industry’s harsh realities.

As a collaborative effort between Mask and Bauble and Nomadic Theatre, Pippin seamlessly merges their distinct styles, uniting the Georgetown theater community in a celebration of their shared passion for the art form. This production not only pays homage to theater classics but also pushes boundaries, reflecting the essence of both theater clubs.

Set to debut in the semester’s final weeks, Pippin promises a dazzling conclusion to the academic year, prompting audiences to ponder whether their envisioned grand futures—fueled by summer internships and academic pursuits—truly align with their deepest desires. While Pippin suggests that life can indeed mirror a theatrical performance, it challenges viewers to look beyond the facade and seek genuine fulfillment.

Don’t miss Pippin from April 11-20 at 8 p.m. in Poulton Hall. Tickets are available for purchase on CampusGroups at 5 for students and 10 for general admission.

[Disclaimer: Eileen Miller is an assistant Voices editor for the Voice and previously supported Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society as a costume assistant. Caroline Samoluk formerly served as a Halftime Leisure assistant editor for the Voice.]