Tyrone Community Players announces the cast for Pippin

The Tyrone Community Players are ready and willing to take its audience on a theater adventure with the group’s next production, Pippin.
The production is scheduled to be presented in the historic theater of the Tyrone Area YMCA on May 7-8. Information about the show and The Players is available by phoning the ArtsLine at 684-ART2 (2782).
Written in the late 1970’s, Pippin is a soft-rock theater classic that incorporates vivid color, liberal use of imagery and imagination, and wonderful music to weave a play within a play.
“A fictional band of ‘Players’ invites the audience to join them on a magic journey into the world of Pippin, the eldest son of Charlemagne, as he searches for the true meaning of life,” explains director of the production, Cindy Bennett.
“As these ‘Players’ weave their way through the story, you, the audience, are treated to remarkable dance numbers, music that runs the gambit from gospel to calypso, innovative and creative set, costume and lighting designs, and an ending sure to make each viewer stop and think.”
Under the direction of Bennett, and with Darcy Wilson as musical director, TCP has assembled a remarkable cast for this stimulating theater journey.
The cast, much like the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is guided through the production by a character called the Lead Player. Terri Dennis of State College will portray this character, and use her voice to entrance the audience with such songs as the opening number, \”Magic To Do,\” and the gospel-type number, \”Glory.\”
Dennis is also the lead vocalist for the band Mick And The Mystics in which her husband plays lead guitar.
Playing the title character will be Altoona native Jordan Yarwood. This is Yarwood’s first stage performance with TCP, and he has been seen in ACT’s production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe. He was also technical assistant for TCP’s production of Steel Magnolias.
TCP veteran Gary Johnson will play the role of Charlemagne, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and Pippin’s father. Johnson has previously been seen on the TCP stage in Fiddler on the Roof, Pump Boys and Dinettes, A Christmas Caroled, Sherwood, and most recently in Music, Magic and Memories.
Fastrada, the cunning, devious, but loving wife of Charlemagne is being interpreted by Molly Riva. A choreographer as well as a performer, Riva has been seen on numerous stages and plays including Grease at AHRT, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe at ACT.
Her son, Lewis in the play, will be portrayed by newcomer to area stages Bill Markley of Tyrone.
Rounding out the main characters in this ensemble piece are Mary Ann Kurtz as Berthe, Emily Dennis as Thea, and Lynne Dirkse as Catherine.
Kurtz and Dirkse were both part of the cast making up The Taffetas. Dirkse has performed on the TCP stage in FIGMIT’s Accidental Magic, Once Upon a Happily Ever Always, The Sound of Music, and Music Magic and Memories while Kurtz’s credits include Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof and A Christmas Caroled.
Emily Dennis, the youngest member of the cast at nine, and daughter of Lead Player, Terri Dennis, is already a seasoned performer having been seen on the TCP stage in FIGMIT’s Accidental Magic and Music, Magic and Memories, and with ACT and SCCT.
The ensemble of Pippin is comprised of Betsy Beck, Pete Hedberg, Tom Getz, Typhani Russo, Rich Volpe, Gina Volpe, Jonathon O’Harrow, Desiree Dennis, Lisa Myers, Kaleena Rallis, Katie Kensinger, Ryan Stiles, Katie Riley and Gareth Kafka.
Choreography is under the guidance of Brian Williamson; Nancy Sloss is technical director; Carolyn Patton resumes her position as costumer, and John Coltabaugh and Kathy Fink are stage managers.
In other Tyrone Community Players news, the group is in need of men’s old neckties. They will be used very creatively in Pippin.
If anyone has a couple of old ties or a bag of old ties, phone the ArtsLine at 684-ART2 (2782) or call the costume designer for the upcoming production, Carolyn Patton, at 684-5157 and leave messages. Members will get back to the individuals and will be happy to pick the ties up as well.
Also, the theater group is offering, again this year, its famous fudge for the Easter holiday. The candy, which is homemade from \”Grandmother\’s recipe,\” will be available for pick-up on May 6-7 between the hours of 10-1 p.m.
Special arrangements can be made for delivery and/or pick-up if those times are not convenient. Pick-up will be in the new building, the former Tyrone-Snyder Public Library at 1019 Logan Ave., Tyrone. Phone the ArtsLine or Donna Carson at 632-7887 to order or for more information.