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Rivers Belong Where They Can Ramble...

April 26, 2020 8:00 PM EST

Kayla Key

Pippin, the musical


The Howard University Department of Theatre Arts presents Pippin, the musical. The high-energy show is about a young prince who is searching for purpose and adventure in his life. Throughout the show, Pippin struggles as he has to make a decision on whether to settle for a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers.

So, sit back, and listen up as I take you to center stage!

Georgetown University’s Kayla Key visited the Ira Aldridge Theatre in Washington, DC, and has the story.

Bring up ambient theatre noise

NARRATOR: Upon entering the theatre, one could easily get distracted by the thick, bright yellow play bill distributed at the theatre doors.

Bring up nat sounds

NARRATOR:…or even the rainbow-colored curtains and bright lights resembling a circus tent.

NARRATOR: As visitors with warm and excited faces swiftly make their way to their seats, the lights dim, audience chatter ceases and before we know it, it’s showtime!

Bring up opening music

NARRATOR: Pippin, the musical, opened on Broadway back in 1972, and for the first time, made its way to the historic Ira Aldridge Theatre at Howard University.

NARRATOR: The musical was filled with firsts, but two of those firsts come from students, Patrick Hamilton and Jordyn Stroman.

Fade music down

HAMILTON: Oh my god! That was exciting because I liked the show. It was my first musical at Howard, and it was the first time that I was able to have the freedom to kind of do what I wanted as far as character.

NARRATOR: Hamilton is a second year Musical Theater major from Fresno, California. And surprisingly, he wasn’t nervous for his debut performance.

Bring up nat sound

HAMILTON: Being able to trust myself and trust that I had what I needed to succeed in the musical.

NARRATOR: Jordyn Stroman is a freshman Musical Theater major from Wilmington, Delaware, and she had a particularly unforeseen role in the musical. She was the stage manager.

STROMAN: I've always been the type of person who be on stage and I've never thought about like being behind stage.

NARRATOR: But Stroman said she’s always had leadership qualities, so taking on this role for the first time wasn’t too intimidating.

Bring up transition music

STROMAN: Part of the reason why I thought that I was good for this role, because I do have moments where I could be assertive and be a leader. So, I think that, that that was good to have, but I've never seen I've never seen myself before this being a stage manager…no.

NARRATORS: There’s no debating how taxing a schedule like this can be on a student.

STROMAN: The actors would start slowly trickling in. (PH): We would warm up with a tumba. (JS): I had to do rehearsal reports. So, I would start the rehearsal reports. Say who's absent who's late? (PH): Then we did our workouts. (JS): It was an intense cardio workout, dance workout. And then we would get started with whatever we were doing that day.

Fade music down

HAMILTON: I had to basically plan out every minute of my day…

NARRATOR: Putting together a musical is a process, and when you’re in the thick of rehearsals, some reassurance is always welcomed.

Bring up transition music

HAMILTON: I really just hope that they enjoyed themselves. I hope that they had a good time watching the show and experiencing it with us because we had a good time. You know, putting it up.

NARRATOR: Nigel Jackson visited the Ira Aldridge Theatre for the first and brought along his five daughters. During the intermission, Jackson thought the show was impressive, and he was eager to get back to his seat.

JACKSON: I’ve enjoyed every single second of it. I actually want it to start so I can see what happens and if he finds his way.


HAMILTON: We are storytellers at the end of the day, and I think if the story is properly told, then the show was successful.


STROMAN: You know, the whole story is about this man who's finding himself and he's not fulfilled with his life. And I think that we can all relate to that in some sort. And it's just like, we need to be happy with the things that we have.

NARRATOR: As they say in the musical, ‘it’s time to start living, time to take a little from this world we’re given...’ 

Fade VO and bring up song

NARRATOR: From Georgetown University, I’m Kayla Key.

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