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Kean University Theatre Conservatory Has 'Magic To Do' As It Presents PIPPIN

Kean University Theatre Conservatory Has 'Magic To Do' As It Presents PIPPIN

Kean University's Theatre Conservatory will present the award-winning musical Pippin, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson. Pippin will run from February 16 - 24 in Kean University's Wilkins Theatre, located on the University's main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union. Guided by the Leading Player and a troupe of players, Pippin follows a young man of the same name on his quest to find his place in the world and become "extraordinary."

Directed by Ernest Wiggins, associate professor of theatre, the Theatre Conservatory production features a cast of 24 current Kean students, including a female in the role of the Leading Player.

"I was absolutely blown away by the talent of the Kean students, those that are theatre majors, and those that are not," said Wiggins. "I knew I had to make the tough decisions to go where the talent led me."

When asked what drew him to direct Pippin, Wiggins stated, "Pippin is a coming of age story; there's the power of politics, sex, love, and making potentially life-changing decisions. Pippin, like many college students, is just trying to figure out this maddening thing called life. There are many aspects of this musical that cast members and audience members alike can relate to."

The creative team of Pippin is comprised of guest artists, including choreography by Aimee Mitacchione, musical direction by Jack Bender, and scenic design by Lauren Mills, with lighting design by Theatre Conservatory student Danie Johnson and costume design by Karen Lee Hart, associate professor of theatre.

Originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, Pippin debuted on Broadway in 1972 and received five Tony Awards. It was revived in 2013 and earned four Tony Awards, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Patina Miller as the Leading Player. Her win made Tony Award history, as it was the first time that a male (Ben Vereen in 1973) and female actor won the Tony Award for playing the same role.

The Kean University Theatre Conservatory production of Pippin opens Friday, February 16 at 8 p.m., with additional performances on Saturday, February 17, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, February 18 at 2 p.m.; Wednesday, February 21 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, February 22 at 5 p.m.; Friday, February 23 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, February 24 at 2 and 8 p.m. Audience members are invited to stay for a post-show discussion with the cast after the February 22 performance.

Standard tickets to all Theatre Conservatory performances are $15, with $12 tickets available for Kean faculty, staff and alumni, and $10 tickets available for students. To purchase tickets or request a season brochure, please call the Kean Stage box office at (908) 737-7469, email ticket@kean.edu, or visit www.keanstage.com.

About Kean University
Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving nearly 15,000 students. The University's five undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers four doctoral degree programs and more than 60 options for graduate study leading to master's degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union and Toms River, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit www.kean.edu.

About The Kean University Theatre Conservatory
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, Kean University's Theatre Conservatory mirrors the university's mission to provide a core educational foundation based on the liberal arts. The curricula are designed to educate theatre students to enter the realm of professional theatre, theatre education or advanced graduate studies. For more information, please call (908) 737-4420, email theatre@kean.edu, or visit www.kean.edu.

Photo: Bringing innovation and magic with a new direction in casting, Kean University presents Pippin, opening Friday, February 16 at Wilkins Theatre on the University's main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union.

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