‘Pippin,’ Tony Award-winning musical, opens March 30 at Oakland University

Oakland University ‘Pippin’ cast
Photo courtesy of JLBoone Photography

Stephen Schwartz’s Tony Award-winning 1972 musical Pippin celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and Oakland University’s Department of Theatre is inviting you to join the Guardians of Splendor for some Fosse-inspired magic March 30 – April 3 in Varner Studio Theatre on the OU campus.

“Over the last couple of years, isolation and disconnection have invited us to re-evaluate what is important in our lives,” said David Gram, director and assistant professor of theatre. “How do we define success for ourselves? What does happiness look like in the wake of COVID and a world in political upheaval?

Pippin is a coming of age tale in a ‘new normal;.’ A world filled with uncertainty and loss; where in the search for community, one can fall prey to seductive outside forced. It is in these troubled times true character is revealed and inner strength is showcased. And in the case of our musical, all done with a bit of ‘song and dance.’”

Based on the book by Roger O. Hirson, Pippin uses the premise of a traveling troupe of performers, led by the charismatic Leading Player (Leah Wilson), to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince and heir to the throne who is searching for his own “corner of the sky.”

Pippin is all about the journey of one man finding his purpose in life,” said Wilson, a junior at OU. “My character, the Leading Player, makes Pippin go do all these extraordinary and sometimes scary things and push him out of his comfort zone.”

Wilson described her character as “very charming and easy to love.”

“It’s easy for me to put myself in the Leading Player’s shoes,” Wilson said “She is very smart and calculating, but she does things with ease. Everything is in the palm of her hands and she loves having control.”

The Leading Player is Wilson’s first leading role in a main stage production at OU.

“I am so blessed to have the support of my director, cast, production team, and of course my family and friends,” she said “This role means the world to me and I cannot wait for the show.”

Tickets for Pippin are $22 for general admission and $12 for students, and can be purchased online at ETix.com.

Performance Schedule:

  • Wednesday, March 30 at 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, April 1 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 2 at 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 3 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Important health and safety information:

Oakland University has instituted a COVID vaccine mandate for audiences in the Studio Theatre and the Lab Theatre because of the intimate proximity of the performers and audience.

Audience members should be prepared to show their vaccination cards and photo ID. We will not save or photograph the documents, nor keep records of any sort. Unvaccinated individuals who wish to attend a performance must show both proof of a medical exemption and a recent negative COVID test in order to be admitted.

At this time, masks are required for entry to any building on campus.

Ticket buyers may receive an email with special instructions on the day of the event. Tickets may be printed at home or presented on mobile devices at the door. ALL EVENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Any changes or additions to our season calendar will be posted on the SMTD website. Maps and parking information are available at Oakland.edu/map.


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