Nearly 80 cast and crew members helped put on the Andover High School fall musical, “Pippin,” last weekend.
Theatre instructor Sarah Koehn, who has taught at AHS since 2004, directed the students. Koehn described “Pippin” as “a very early 1970s piece.”
“The whole plot revolves around Pippin, who’s the fictional son of Charlemagne, who is not represented in a historically accurate fashion, trying to find meaning in life and searching to answer that ultimate question, ‘Why am I here and what purpose does life have?’ He is sort of aided along by this band of players, led by this very charismatic leading player character and they eventually try to push in to self-immolation as his one great act of greatness,” Koehn said. “But he turns away from that and finds happiness in a very simple way of life.”
The cast and crew spent eight weeks in production of the musical.
Senior Ryan Siebuhr played the titular character, Pippin, during the show. The musical was Siebuhr’s fourth at Andover.
“Pippin is basically a man who struggles to find the meaning of his life besides it being long,” Siebuhr said. “The part was not an easy one. It is by far the hardest role I have ever faced, yet fun and exuberant.”
Siebuhr said his role provided some challenges.
“I always knew inside that I could hit the high notes, which I was able to do when it came down to it,” he said.
Siebuhr said as a whole, the show was spectacular.
“It was stressful, emotional and sometimes physically painful,” he said. “We made it through the end as a whole. We are a family and as a family, we fight for what we love and finish the battle until we win. Everyone is so talented and wonderful and I couldn’t ask for a better cast and crew to be a part of this year.”
Junior Keely Meusburger, who served on props crew during the show, was also pleased with the performances by the cast and crew.
“I think it was really well,” Meusburger said. “All the hard work paid off. I’m really, really proud of all the actresses and actors.”
She is also looking ahead to the rest of the school year with her involvement in theatre.
“I’m blessed to work with the cast and crew and I’m excited to work with them again,” she said.
Junior Brad Rigsby, a member of the lighting crew, described the show in a few short words.
Page 2 of 2 - “I thought it was an amazing piece of art,” he said.
Koehn was happy with the work the cast and crew did for the show.
“I was exceptionally pleased with the quality of the singing, with the dancing and the acting,” she said. “I felt that the cast really made beautiful connections and it showed on stage. I was super proud of the technology elements. We built almost all the costumes on stage here, which was the first that that we’ve done that. I thought it turned out beautifully.”
Up next for the theatre department are the student-directed One Act plays, which will start its process later this week.
Koehn said there’s really nothing resembling downtime in her department, but she is looking forward to having more free time, now that the musical is over.
“The musical is absolutely the hardest most life-sucking process and I am really looking forward to having time to do things like clean my home and buy Christmas presents and not work 80, 90 hour weeks,” Koehn said.
Ultimately, though, Koehn was proud of the work her students did on “Pippin.”
“I think it was a beautiful ensemble collaboration,” she said, “both within the cast and between the cast and the crew and I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever put on stage.”