U.Va. Drama Department Closes Season with Musical Classic 'Pippin'

Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Jane Ford:

April 13, 2010 — The University of Virginia Drama Department is closing its season with "Pippin," one of the theater world's most enduring and engaging musical fairy tales.

"Pippin" will be presented at Culbreth Theatre on April 22-24, April 28-30 and May 1. Tickets are $16 ($14 for seniors and U.Va. faculty, staff and Alumni Association members, and $10 for students). All performances will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.artsboxoffice.virginia.edu, and are also available by phone at 434-924-3376 and in person at the Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Culbreth Theatre, on weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. A $3.50 processing fee applies to Internet, phone and mail orders.

"Pippin" is the story of a young prince who longs to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment. He looks for it on battlefields, in the arms of lovers and in the halls of political power, only to find it in the more simple pleasures of home and family. The show-within-a-show-stopping score is by three-time Oscar winner Stephen Schwartz, whose stage credits include "Wicked" and "Godspell." It's full of beautiful ballads and infectious and lively dance numbers that have been delighting audiences for generations.

"It has been really wonderful to watch these students connect with this show," U.Va. drama professor and director Robert Chapel said. "It is a testament to the power of great theater to remain both entertaining and relevant across generations of performers and audiences. In this case, it helps to have a Stephen Schwartz score that is so rich, vibrant and fun. But at the heart of it is what makes fairy tales truly classic. People of any age can relate to this prince's quest for the things in his life that will make him truly happy."

U.Va. Drama will present a special performance of "Pippin" on April 29 featuring sign language interpretation. Laurie Shaffer, the University's American Sign Language/spoken English interpreter, will be joined for the performance by Kate O'Varanese, fellow interpreter and the coordinator of services for the deaf and hard of hearing. The pair will be positioned at stage right and a special block of tickets is being reserved in the section directly facing them for deaf and hard of hearing audience members.

To purchase tickets in this reserved block of seats, call the U.Va. Arts Box Office at 434-924-3376 or visit in person at 109 Culbreth Road.

Parking is free at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters.

For complete information on the 2010 Spring Season, visit here