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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

‘We’ve got magic to do’: Theatre MSU’s ‘Pippin’ looks to pay homage

Courtesy | Kylie Dowd
The character pippin is the son of King Charlamagne in the play.

Tomorrow is Theatre MSU’s opening night for “Pippin,” a musical adaptation based on Roger O. Hirson’s musical comedy of the same name.

This production will pay homage to Theatre MSU’s 60th anniversary, as “Pippin” was the first musical the theatrical group performed in McComas Hall Theatre. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The play’s Saturday showing will be followed by an alumni event, where some alumni who performed in the original “Pippin” at Mississippi State University will attend.

“Pippin” is portrayed through a frame story; the musical begins with a traveling performance troupe that invites the audience to witness the new show they are performing called “Pippin.” The performance stars Pippin, the first son of King Charlemagne, who is searching for fulfillment and purpose.

According to Katherine Trinque, a senior double major in theater and psychology at Mississippi State who is playing Bertha, Pippin’s grandmother, “Pippin” is a one-of-a-kind show.

Courtesy | Kylie Dowd

“The script is interesting because of the show within a show aspect; the costumes and set are really beautiful; and the music and dancing are very high energy,” Trinque said. “There’s just so much to it.”

Trinque’s described her character, Bertha, as the comedic relief character.

“She just does whatever she wants,” Trinque said. “She’s not your typical grandmother but a fun, bold old lady who has lots to say. She’s very carefree, encouraging Pippin to be himself and do what makes him happy, which she definitely embodies herself.”

For Trinque, the production has been an incredibly satisfying experience.

“Doing a production either in performance or technical side is always very fulfilling,” Trinque said. “I love theater because it is a collaborative art, we — the cast and crew — create this work of art together.”

David Hintz, a junior communication major at MSU, is playing King Charlemagne, an inattentive, out-of-touch tyrannical ruler and Pippin’s father. For David, the most rewarding part of this process has been seeing the different parts of the show come together.

“When I tell people about this production, there is one word I always use: spectacle. The whole thing is just beautiful to see,” Hintz said.

With all the many aspects incorporated into the show, it seems “spectacle” is right.

“The most challenging part of this production so far has been creating literal magic onstage. The story of Pippin is told through the medium of a circus, so I’ve had to learn many new skills for this production. I have learned how to juggle, unicycle, pole dance and so much more,” Hintz said.

“Pippin” is an exciting story with many ups and downs, magic and fun pursuits, but there is more to the story than light-hearted affairs.

Janiya Rutherford, a junior psychology major at MSU who is performing in the ensemble, revealed the deeper side of “Pippin”:

“The young Pippin is looking for something extraordinary that will bring him happiness and fulfillment, which he seeks through glories of battle, temptations of flesh and the intrigues of political power,” Rutherford said. “In the end, he realizes that happiness is found in the moments that happen every day.”

When asked about giving a pitch for the show, Rutherford provided a catchy little saying that she feels wraps up the show perfectly:

“Come and waste an hour or two and join us on this mystic and exotic journey through Pippin because we’ve got magic to do,” Rutherford said.

Pippin is widely thought of as a magical show that conveys an important message amidst all the fun and games. For someone looking for an entertaining, laugh-inducing, yet moving and profound show — this show can provide it all.

There is so much to this show that everyone can find a piece of it that resonates with them. Tickets for each showing can be purchased both at the door and online at

About the Contributor
Elena Harman
Elena Harman, Staff Writer
Elena Harman is a junior secondary education major. Elena is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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