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CofC Theatre to Present ‘Pippin’ Musical for 50th Anniversary



By: CofC Media

CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents its next production, Pippin, this season’s musical offering. The 2023-24 season features eight compelling productions that each highlight the theme of “Expectations and Explorations”— challenging what we think we know as we discover the world around us, as well as ourselves.

The musical tells the story of Pippin, the son of Charlemagne (king of the Holy Roman Empire in the 8th Century). However, the plot is entirely a work of fiction and makes no claims of historical accuracy. In it, a traveling performance troupe tells Pippin’s story. The Leading Player of this troupe guides the story and often breaks the fourth wall to address the audience directly. This particular production of Pippin takes place within an old Hollywood film studio with The Leading Player serving as the director of a 1930s film. They attempt to tell Pippin’s story on the silver screen, while Pippin proves a difficult lead actor, constantly changing the film because of his dissatisfaction with the story being told. The production’s designers were inspired by various films that were produced throughout the 1920s and 1930s while creating the concept.

Pippin has achieved near classic status as a musical having premiered on Broadway at the Imperial Theater in 1972. Featuring music and lyrics written by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson, the original production was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, otherwise best known for Sweet Charity and Chicago. Pippin has grown into a highly conceptual show since then, with the 2014 Broadway Revival featuring a concept based around a circus theme. CofC Stages is pleased to celebrate this  fantastic show during the celebration of its 50th anniversary.

The production is directed by Assistant Professor of Performance Nakeisha Daniel, whose previous directorial work was seen last season in the musical Violet. The music direction is helmed by Professor Laura Turner, and adjunct faculty member Laurel Van Beusecum provides choreography. Master of Arts in Teaching student Mekhi Gaither serves as assistant director. The cast consists entirely of undergraduate students and is led by Drake Carney in the role of Pippin, Ngaa Magombedze as the Leading Player, Ben Hudd as Charles, and Kate Yarbray as Catherine. The show’s designers include senior theatre major Bristol Barnes (scenic design), junior theatre major Chris Warzynski (lighting design), recent alumna Molly Belle (costume design), and Adjunct Lecturer Caleb Garner (sound design). Junior theatre and psychology major Mollie Davis serves as stage manager.

DETAILS:  Performances of Pippin at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St.) are November 17-19. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 and 18 with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Nov. 19. Individual tickets are $30 adults; $25 seniors (60+), military/veteran, and youth under 18; and $15 for CofC students, faculty, and staff. Purchase tickets online at or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing or calling (843) 953-4726.

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