Pippin, the latest production by Starting Arts’ Dream Team just concluded it’s four-day run. As other Starting Arts productions, the Pippin’s run is very short running from Thursday, Jan. 12 through Sunday, Jan. 15. But the value for what’s offered is extremely high. To patrons not familiar with the work of Starting Arts, they’re usually in for a surprise, especially when they realize the actors that comprise the two casts (Magic and Glory) performing the play are in high school.
Pippin, played by Blake Du Bois (Magic Cast)/Eric Eng (Glory cast), relates the story of a young man who seeks the answer to the eternal question – how to find true happiness and fulfillment in life. As the heir to a throne, his attempts run the gamut from waging war to love to political power. But along the way, he learns that what one imagines about a position or role in life, isn’t always what it truly turns out to be.
Pippin’s attempts at political power begin with killing his own father, King Charlemagne the Great. Then, he tries to win people over by never saying “no.” However, life and adversaries force his hand so he goes from being a leader loved by his people to despised. In the end, his wish is for his father to come back and take over the throne, which in the magic of the play, happens. Along the way, Pippin finds out life has more meaning from the little things life that are easily ignored.
Directed by Alicia Sanders, Starting Arts’ flavor of Pippin is a combination of the classic and revival versions. The play included various circus elements which added pleasant surprises throughout the show, which really became a show within a show as the audience saw Pippin audition for the role he wound up playing. By the end of the show, when Pippin refuses to be part of the final act, he and the set are stripped of their costumes, leaving Pippin to realize what really is important in life.
Starting Arts’ next performances will be Schoolhouse Rock, presented at Bagby Elementary School in San Jose, running Thursday, Jan. 19 and Friday, Jan. 20 and Shrek, presented at the Historic Hoover Theater, also in San Jose. Tickets for both productions are on sale now and can be obtained through “Schedule of Performances” link on the Starting Arts webpage. Started in 2000, at one elementary school in Santa Clara, Starting Arts now provides arts education to over 28,000 K-12 students in 104 schools. If you’re interested in finding out more about Starting Arts or the Dream Team please visit their webpage: www.StartingArts.com.