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Students Shine in "Pippin" Production

Rebecca Woolfrey
Grier students took to the stage this weekend in a spectacular production of the Broadway musical Pippin.  
Not only is this Director Julia Dirks-Jacks musical theatre directorial debut at Grier, but it is Grier’s first full musical production since 2019. The two-night run was a hit and a supreme culmination of the contributions of roughly one hundred students and adults. In addition to live audience attendance, Grier broadcast a live stream of the show for the greater Grier community far and wide to enjoy. 

The singer-actors delivered their lines and lyrics with amazing expression and vibrancy before a set designed to look like a circus’s big top. The dance ensemble mastered jazz choreography in the style of Bob Fosse, complete with canes and bowler hats. The pit orchestra and backup vocalists supported the stage performers throughout the evening. Ms. Julie Piotti cleverly designed stunning costumes for some outrageous quick changes. The show ran successfully thanks to the help of behind-the-scenes work of with student managers, run crew, tech crew, wardrobe crew, and stagecraft class. Young graphic design students even designed the posters and program covers for the show.  

The story of Pippin, as the show’s director Dirkes-Jacks, writes in her program notes, “is a show within a show; a musical about a circus full of strange and intriguing players.”  It first hit Broadway in 1972 and was revived in 2013. Pippin prompts audiences to reflect on what happens when we search too hard for the extraordinary spectacle and miss the simplest and purest joys in life. 

The journey from audition to performance was lengthy and occasionally rocky as the cast and crew endured and overcame a number of challenges, including learning circus skills of aerial silk acrobatics, hula hooping, and baton twirling – all while singing and dancing! The show certainly came together over the course of ten weeks from early February auditions and rehearsals to the late April tech week.  

The show serves as Grier's entry into the 2022 Altoona Community Theatre's ISAAC Awards competition for excellence in community high school musical theatre. The 17th annual ISAACs will recognize student achievement across several categories and award scholarships during the two-night awards presentation taking place May 28 and 29 at Altoona's historic Mishler Theatre. We wish Grier's Musical Theatre participants the best at this year's ISAAC Awards! 

Browse the program to take a deeper look at the show, including the full story of Pippin and the people who made Grier’s fantastic production possible. Bravo to all involved!  





















Photos: RW
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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308; Birmingham, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177