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February 2007

Release Date: February 21, 2007

Arts at ASU Presents Spring Production ‘Pippin’

Angelo State University’s drama program will present the light-hearted musical comedy “Pippin” for its first show of the new year March 21-25 and 29-31 in the ASU Modular Theatre.

Shows are scheduled for 8 p.m. March 21-24 and 29-31, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. March 25. Tickets are $8 general admission, $4 for non-ASU students and ASU activity card holders, and $3 for ASU students and Arts at ASU subscribers. The Modular Theatre is located in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

“Pippin” features a character named “Leading Player,” the star of a roving troupe of actors who tells the tongue-in-cheek story of Pippin, son of the eighth-century King Charlemagne. Pippin is on a quest to find his true calling in life; one that he is certain has to be extraordinary. He tries his hand at war, love, politics and running his father’s kingdom, but is met with only dismal failure. When he feels his life is all but over, he finds satisfaction and fulfillment in the most surprising and “ordinary” of places.

One by one, the actors will all come forward and join the Leading Player in welcoming the audience with the song “Magic to Do.” The Leading Player will then inform the audience that they are about to see “the most mysterious tale, with magic, merriment, lust, murder, holy war and a climax never before seen on a public stage.” Thus begins the story of Pippin.

“This play represents something of a lifestyle journey,” said James Worley, assistant drama professor and the play’s director. “A young man, full of spit and vinegar, feels destined for great things. He has some failures along the way, then finds contentment in leading a normal life.”

“It also serves as an allegory about temptation,” Worley added. “How sometimes we don’t recognize things that are valuable when they are right in front of us the whole time.”

Scott Meyer, a freshman drama major from New Braunfels, will play the character of Pippin, his first lead role in an ASU production. He previously performed minor roles and production duties in “My Three Angels,” “West Side Story” and “Terra Nova.”

Other characters will be performed by senior drama major MacArthur Moore (Leading Player); senior drama major Jeremy Lopez (Pippin’s father Charles); freshman music major Michael Wilkinson (Pippin’s step-brother Lewis); graduate student Meagan Hunnicutt (Pippin’s step-mother Fastrada); junior drama major Megan Reeves (Pippin’s grandmother Berthe); junior music major Jaqueline Stewart (Pippin’s love interest Catherine); and Worley’s son, six year old Maxwell Worley (Catherine’s son Theo).

Male players, including soldiers and the chorus, are Jason Dendy, Zeth Everick Collum, Kevin Neeley, Mason Cargile and Nathaniel Shouse. Female players are Paige Westerman, Laurie Proveaux, Alyssia Rivera, Brandi Knebel, Amanda Rickman and Annie Corcoran.

“I already like how it’s coming together,” Worley said. “It’s a light-hearted, feel-good experience and will be fun for everyone. The play will feature intricate choreography and will be an intimate experience because we’re having it in the Modular Theatre rather than the Auditorium.”

Worley is himself a product of the ASU drama program and has led a varied career that includes two years as a professional designer, stage manager and technician in New York at such institutions as the Juilliard School of Drama, the Roundabout Theatre Company and Daedalus Professional Tours. He has also served as technical director, resident designer and artistic director at the Angelo Civic Theatre and as technical director for Southwest Studios Inc. in Dallas. Worley has directed more than 30 productions at ASU.

“Pippin” opened on Broadway in 1972 and ran for 1,944 performances. It was originally directed by legendary Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse and featured early performances by Ben Vereen, Jill Clayburgh and John Rubenstein. In various revivals it has also featured Broadway legends Irene Ryan and Martha Raye in supporting roles. The musical score includes the popular numbers “Corner of the Sky,” “No Time at All” and “Spread a Little Sunshine.”

Tickets will go on sale in the ASU box office March 5 for Arts at ASU subscribers and March 7 for the general public. The box office will be open from 2-6 p.m. weekdays in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building. For reservations, call 942-2000.

For more information on the production and cast, contact Worley with the ASU drama program at 942-2146, Ext. 241.