Hippy prince on quest for identity

In Theater & Arts

One man’s search for love and fulfillment will be brought
to life in the Theater and Dance Department’s production of
“Pippin.”

“Pippin,” which opens Friday in Cal State
Fullerton’s Little Theatre, is a romantic comedy based on a
young prince’s search for love and happiness. Unfortunately,
he finds himself failing at every attempt.

Director James Taulli said he chose “Pippin” because he
felt that the play best suited the talents of the current musical
theater students.

Despite the original play being set in medieval times, it has been
updated to add a fresh feel to the original story.

“We have chosen to place this production at Woodstock in
1969,” Taulli said. “Our new concept has helped us to
make a crazy-fun romp of a show.”

He said the play now focuses on the story of a guy who has just
graduated from college and is now trying to figure out a purpose
for his life.

Choreographer William Lett said that although the lyrics and basis
of the play are the same, the change in scenery to Woodstock
“works amazingly well.”

“We made sure that we could still justify the play,” he
said.

Lett said that when he usually choreographs plays, he likes to come
into production with a preconceived idea of how he wants to
incorporate dance into the production.

“With this play, I was encouraged to be more
spontaneous,” he said. “When we started, we began in a
much more organic place than the original play.”

Lett said that when the cast began production on the play he had
cast members improvise movements while he videotaped it.

“I worked elements of the improvisations into the
choreography,” he said.

Popular dances such as the twist and the mashed-potato have been
incorporated into the play.

Lett said he and the students are psyched and ready for an
audience.

“The entire cast is really excited and is itching for an
audience,” Lett said. “As we have been adding various
technical elements to the play such as the band, costumes and
lighting, you can see the energy rising.”

The play, which is completely student-performed on stage also
involves student production backstage.

The costumes, sound, scenery, lights and props are all designed by
faculty but with students assisting them, Taulli said.

Carol Cotter, technical director for the play, said that students
do all the backstage work.

“Pippin” stars Nathan Hunt as Pippin, Erin Watson as
Catherine, Megan Bayha, Angelina Holliman and Sage Thommen as the
Leading Players and Aaron Gaines as Charles.

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