‘Pippin’ – a play, an achievement

Mollie Shepardson and Mollie Shepardson

When a student has a large assignment, such as a term paper, the task seems daunting and much work goes into achieving a good grade. Fortunately for a regular student, their only criticism is usually in the form of a letter grade from their professor. If, however, you are a part of a stage production in college, your critics make up the entire audience, along with your professor and peers.

At City College, such a production has been under way for some time. Students have put long hours towards the production of “Pippin,” often practicing in the evenings for three straight hours. Much like a term paper, variety is required in order to present the final product.

Such productions are geared less towards audience amusement and more towards student development. Sure, the students want to impress their critics, but as the Lead Player in “Pippin,” Trevor Peringer put it for most, “this is just the very beginning.”

Peringer, an alumnus of City College, was once a regular performer in college productions before graduating and moving on to professional acting. Peringer was contacted by Director June Richards to play the role of Lead Player, which gave him the opportunity to watch new students “grow into their performing.”

Although each production requires a great amount of guidance from professors and staff, the plays would not be educational springboards without the drive of the students. Teresa Elliott, a freshman at City College, plays a dancer/singer in “Pippin.”

Elliott is a testament to believing in oneself and persevering through fright.

Elliot has never tried out for a play before this year and almost walked out of her first audition for a play earlier this school year.

“It’s hard to break in and be successful (professionally)” said Elliott. So for now, she performs as a hobby. In Elliott’s opinion, “Pippin” [gave] more room to grow, because less [was] expected” of the actors. In this play, the actors were given more room to create their own dialogue and fill in for forgotten lines.

However, there is more to a play production than just the actors. Sylvia Sanchez and Earl Alfred Paus were two of the makeup artists for “Pippin.” Unlike the actors, makeup artists are actually doing class work for the play and are able to use their skills at one production per semester.

In the beginning of the class, the students are taught through lecture by their professor, but are later given the chance for hands on work in the productions.

“It’s really good practice, but overwhelming at first” Paus said. “We start off by putting the makeup on ourselves, and then on the actors” in order to generate design ideas, added Sanchez.

For the students involved, Pippin had been a building block, whether it is for career growth or simply personal enjoyment. They all lead varying lives, and have different goals in mind, but were united under one project. If one thing is learned from the process, it is to take a chance on yourself and give it your best.