The Juneau Douglas High School Theatre Department will open “Pippin” on Friday, with shows continuing next weekend. The production is a special one for the school, as it will be the one they take to the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August as part of the American High School Theatre Festival, a huge honor for them and for Juneau.
JDHS Theatre Director Michaela Moore said “Pippin” embodies the theatrical traditions of Commedia dell’Arte, which began in Italy in the 16th century. Commedia troupes traveled from place to place to perform, relying on specific props in place of extensive scenery, and often incorporating improvisational dialogue, music and dance. The plays usually centered on a basic plot about man’s struggles in life and included archetypal stock characters.
Continuing in this tradition, “Pippin” follows an everyman named Pippin on a long journey as he attempts to fulfill his idea of grandeur. Along the way, archetypical characters try to lure him into worlds of illusions and fantasies.
Moore also noted that this version of the musical is rated PG, and is suitable for the whole family.
The JDHS musical will be performed in Juneau on Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m., and next weekend, May 10 and 11, at 7 p.m. at the JDHS auditorium. One matinee will be performed at 2 p.m. Saturday May 11.
Juneau audiences will be the first to see the JDHS production that will also be traveling all the way to Scotland in August, as part of the American High School Theatre Festival group at the Ediburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. The JDHS Theater Department was one of the 45 high school theater programs in the country to be selected from more than 2200 nominations. They will perform Pippin four times at the Festival at the Church Hill Theatre in Edinburgh, and will also receive tours, workshops and many opportunities to watch other actors perform as part of the festival, which brings in actors from all over the world.
Since last year the theater department was been working to raise the money to make the trip happen, so that selection would not be based on which students could afford this opportunity. They have nearly reached their goal, and hope that the proceeds from “Pippin” will give them the last push they need to make it happen.
For more, visit www.jdhsdrama.com.