arts

'Pippin' explores themes of finding oneself in times of transition



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"Pippin" will round out the IU Auditorium's spring lineup with shows this Wednesday and Thursday. The cast of fanciful characters includes the title character of Pippin, played in this production by Naysh Fox. Courtesy Photo and Courtesy Photo

The IU Auditorium will welcome “Pippin” to round out the spring production season.

The show will debut 8 p.m. Wednesday, and there will be a second performance at the same time Thursday at the auditorium.

Naysh Fox leads the cast as the title character Pippin, a young prince who is on a search for the meaning of life. Fox said he has been most excited to portray Pippin on stage. He comes to this role with experience playing characters such as Riff in the production “West Side Story,” Warner in “Legally Blonde” and the Prince in “Once Upon a Time.”

“It’s a great privilege but also a great responsibility,” Fox said. “It’s really a wonderful experience to tell this every man story and 
hopefully have everybody relate to your character and share the journey with you.”

Sharing the stage with a cast of talented actors and performers has been a great experience, Fox said.

“It’s really been such a dream come true,” Fox said. “We have such a wonderful, talented cast and being able to share the stage has been an honor.”

The show has made one run through Indiana already, and showing in a college town offers a slightly different experience from showing to a crowd of older theater-goers, Fox said.

Traveling with this show has offered the opportunity to see how a variety of audiences can connect or engage with the familiar tale, Fox said.

“It’s been quite the experience because our show is abstract, and to see how different audiences see it and relate to it is wonderful,” Fox said. “We get to experience in those short two and a half hours what culture is like in those spots.”

While elderly audiences may be more conservative and focused on watching and listening to the story as a whole, younger audiences can engage with the material on a personal level, because the character of Pippin is also fresh out of college and looking toward the future.

“That’s what every college kid is going through, and now they’re trying to decide how they want to continue on with their life and find fulfillment and happiness,” Fox said.

The most relatable part of the character of Pippin part of his character looking to go on a journey of self-discovery, Fox said.

“Honestly I can relate to the character of Pippin in almost every aspect because he’s a young man trying to find fulfillment in a crazy world,” Fox said. “The only difference is that I don’t have a Leading Player guiding me through life — who doesn’t want to find ultimate happiness or fulfillment or find passion for what they’re doing?”

Audiences who want to see a circus — complete with full acrobatics — onstage should see “Pippin,” Fox said.

“It’s truly amazing what the acrobats can do with their bodies,” Fox said. “The story is so relevant and people can relate to it really well no matter what age you are. I might be biased, but I think our cast is so 
tremendous.”

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