Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Herndon High School Pippin (ShowBizRadio)

By • Apr 27th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Herndon High School’s production of Pippin [MP3 5:23 1.5MB].

Laura: A few weeks ago we began publishing Cappies Reviews. The Cappies are high school students reviewing high school productions. On Saturday we were fortunate to be invited to attend Herndon High School’s production of Pippin. We joined 40 high school critics in attending and discussing the performance at intermission and after the show. The review by Elizabeth Venz, a student at Robinson High School, is also available.

Mike: Pippin is the story of Charlemagne’s son who has graduated from the university and is now looking for a meaning to his life. He tries many different things to find his place in life, including sex, arts, religion and war. At the end of the show he discovers how to find his own corner of the sky.

Laura: These high schoolers did a really great job. The dancing and singing numbers were very good. They used kind of a punk rock style, which I thought was kind of interesting. It probably made costuming much easier since these are probably what a lot of these students had in their closets anyway. I really had a good time with the show.

Mike: The students did a really good job with the show. It can be a very demanding show because it is such a huge cast. There are a lot of scene changes that can happen. But I think the students pulled it off very well. At the final bow I counted almost 60 people on stage. That’s an accomplishment just to get that coordinated and done correctly. They did a pretty good job with that.

Laura: This production of Pippin had two Leading Players. They were kind of like the narrators and also represented evil in trying to get Pippin to do things that he normally wouldn’t do just for his fame and glory. The First Leading Player was played by Tyler Anderes. He did a good job. He had some microphone problems. The sound on him kind of went in and out a few times. He definitely warmed up in the second act and had some good singing numbers.

The Second Leading Player was Samanatha Nees. She did a good job. She had some really good dance numbers and had a lot of energy and vitality when she was performing. I really enjoyed both of them.

Mike: Pippin was played by David Miranda. I think he did a pretty good job over all, although in the first act he seemed a bit tentative with some of his parts. In the second act you really couldn’t see any of that nervousness from the first act. I like how he was always doing something on stage. For example, during the song, “No Time At All,” sung by Berthe with Berthe’s Boys, he was in the background standing with Berthe’s Boys and he kept reacting to the boy who was standing next to him. I thought that was a really nice touch, even though you really weren’t supposed to be watching him, he wasn’t just standing there, he was doing something. I liked how he interacted with Theo in the second act. It seemed very realistic and you could feel the relationship changing.

Laura: Catherine was a widow who had a son and was trying to get help on her estate. She saw Pippin lying on the side of the road. Catherine was played by Kate Parkin. She did a very good job. I like the emotion in her voice. When she was getting ready to say that that was it, Pippin is leaving, he’d stick his foot up and she’d give him another chance. I really liked her energy. I also really liked the love she had for Theo. Her song, “I guess I’ll Miss the Man” I thought was very moving.

Mike: The closing song of the show, “Theo’s Corner,” sung by Theo (played by Nate Tao) brings the whole show full circle. I think the Ensemble with Theo did that number the best I had ever seen it done. I got chilled watching the hope that appeared on the faces of all the ensemble and the Leading Players when they realized, “Hey, we can do his with Theo now.” I think they really brought the show to a succesfull close with that number.

Laura: The lighting I thought was very well done. The Lighting Designers were Jen Wilson and Lauryn McCarter. One thing I thought was neat was that the cyc matched the emotion of the song that was being sung. I thought it made it very real.

Mike: The set was well designed. They did bring a few props on and off for different scenes. The set was designed by Dustin Vandenberg and Austin Lawerence. I think they did a pretty good job. There was a half built castle on one edge and some scaffolding that was used very effectively. The entrances to the wings was very accesible. I didn’t see any bottlenecks appear for people having to get off stage quickly. All in all I think this was a very good production and I think Herndon High school should be congratulated for doing a good job.

Laura: This production of Pippin was just this weekend at Herndon High School in Herndon, Virginia, but these kids did a great job. The whole cast and crew were all high school students and I think it’s really inspiring to see that the next generation has a whole lot of potential and you need to keep an eye on them.

Mike: So I encourage you to check out your local high schools. There is a lot of good theater going on, not necesaarily in all the profesional or community theater in the area. Go to the high schools to see what’s going to be happening in the next few years.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Leading Player 1: Tyler Andere
  • Leading Player 2: Samantha Nees
  • Pippin: David Miranda
  • Charles: Nico Aquino
  • Lewis: AJ Miller
  • Fastrada: Katrina Rodakowski
  • Berthe: Emma Jasper
  • Catherine: Kate Parkin
  • Theo: Nate Tao
  • Band of Players: Abe Woycke, George Ly ons, Jordan Lofaro, Jon Lawson, Roger Russell, Alex Burns, Andy Hulme, Sam McCracken, Joey Patchen, Dustin Vandenberg, Matt Jackson, Monica Gilley, Hunter Hughes, Becca Marshall, Sarah Morgan, Carly Erickson, Matthew Sipe, Simi Khalsa, Tslya Vikram, Kelly Simoncic, Kaitlin Bishop, Grace Poltrack, Emily Lordahl, Meagan Carrick
  • Roadie/Groupie Chorus: Joel Grossman, Kristen Joyce, Jessica Fauteux, Joey Truncale, Kaity Cookson, Kate Merryman, Evi Dobbs, Kathryn Miller-Cvilikas, Molli Atallah, Josh Hagstrom, Anna Kukla, Sarah Price, Erika Rodakowski, Matthew Sipe, Lindsay Jiao, Hannah O’Rourke


  • Stage Manger: Sally Hall
  • Assistant Stage Manger: Cyndi Frost
  • 2nd Assistant Stage Manager: Sue Soudachanh
  • Technical Director: Austin Lawrence
  • Light Designers: Jen Wilson, Lauryn McCarter
  • Light Crew: Nick Baker, Ethan Rundlett, Stephanie Gordon
  • Sound Designers: Mike Aiello, Deni Partner
  • Sound technicians: Ryan rocket, Danielle Sova
  • Run Crew Leaders: Austin Lawrence, Danielle Sova
  • The Crew: David Gauntlett, Mike Deffenbaugh
  • Costume Leaders: Kaity Cookson, Christine Malec
  • Costumes: Vinita Phonseya
  • Make-up Leaders: Mae Gowin, Anne Marie Rundlett
  • Make-up crew: Erika Giorgis, Sonya Frostad, Jacqulyn Mette
  • Head Painter: Eliana Reyes
  • Painters: Grace Poltrak, Gray Akers, Artsy kids we pull off the street
  • Props: Amber Nguyen, Hannah O’Rourke, Jessica Fauteaux
  • Set Designers: Dustin Vandenberg, Austin Lawrence
  • Set Crew: David Gauntlett, Mike Deffenbaugh, Andrew Ray, The Cast, Tech 1 & 2
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