'Pippin' this weekend in Tamaqua
KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS The Tamaqua Area High School Drama Club will present the musical "Pippin" this Friday and Saturday at the Tamaqua Auditorium. The cast of characters includes: King Charles (Tyler Butkus); Fastrada (Molly Betz); Lewis (Jacob Gursky); Pippin (Jake Beers); Catherine (Karina Derr); Leading Player (Erika Cassell); and Theo (Beth Kistler). Both performances will begin at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
In keeping with the Broadway adage "the show must go on,"the Tamaqua High School Drama Club will present the musical "Pippin" this Friday and Saturday in the Tamaqua Area School District Auditorium.
Pippin is a fanciful tale of intrigue, family dysfunction and a mysterious performance troupe, led by, of course, the leading player (Erika Cassell). Pippin (Jake Beers) is a young prince in search of fulfillment, who considers his father, King Charles (Tyler Butkus), to be a tyrant. Egged on by his stepmother Fastrada (Molly Betz), who plots to have her son, Lewis (Jacob Gursky), rule the kingdom, Pippin becomes involved in a revolution.
Pippin's love interest, Catherine, is portrayed by Karina Derr.
As the musical follows the twists and turns of the consequences of Pippin's actions, the actual production went through its own twists and turns following an accident that gravely injured drama club adviser Janet Smulden on Oct. 18.
While worried about their adviser's health, the students were also concerned with the possibility of having their season canceled and wanted the show to go on in their mentor's honor. Stepping in to ease their fears were former Tamaqua Drama Club adviser Drusilla Laughman and Tamaqua teacher Adriane Drum.
"Janet is a former student of mine, a four-year member of drama club when I served as the adviser. She's also a friend. I wanted to help," explains Laughman.
Despite being away from drama club for about 15 years, Laughman was able to quickly get back in the swing of the things.
"The kids, their parents, our crew have all been great to work with," she notes. "The only downside is, I didn't remember just how much time is consumed by a production. It was kind of hard to get back on a schedule."
Laughman also stressed the time her co-adviser has put into the production.
"Adriane is not only teaching and helping here, she's taking graduate studies which means many long days and nights for her."
Both women agreed the struggles were worth it because "it's all about the kids."
Also assisting are Audrey Christ, musical director, and Sam Yachera, vocal director
The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. for both shows, with the auditorium doors set to open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door.