I spent most of the last week working past more licensing woes for Pippin. At the very least, I know that Pippin is the show I am now producing for sure. I’ve set the gears in motion for payment of the licensing company in Japan named New International Musicals Incorporated (New IMI). They don’t accept credit cards which is quite a wonder in today’s day and age. So a wire transfer to their bank is one of the few remaining options. I got my first taste of Chinese bureaucracy when I was told that a wire transfer from China would require applying for a tax exemption and would take over two weeks. Ouch. I am banking (no pun intended) on the hope that New IMI will release the scripts and scores as soon as we initiate the process instead of when it is complete.
Beyond that, I have begun to formulate my vision for the production. Pippin is about searching for what is “completely fulfilling” in life and stripping away the pretexts to find that place of contentment within one’s being. The main character, Pippin, spends nearly the entire show jumping from one thing to the next trying to find happiness. He becomes a soldier and fights in a war. He tries frolicking in the countryside with women and taking drugs to escape reality. He becomes a revolutionary and kills his father. He tries painting as an artist and praying as a priest. These attempts get him nowhere and he still feels lost. While I hope this is not the case, college seems to be a good parallel to Pippin in this instance. College is about, as cliche as it is, “finding yourself” and who you want to be. Along the way there are the proverbial trials and tribulations but, just as in Pippin’s case, college is supposed to spit you out with something “completely fulfilling” to do for the rest of your life. However, Pippin fails with everything. It’s only when he commits himself to something entirely and whole heartedly, without hesistation does he find a sense of calm within him.
I hope my students convey and understand the message coupled with the fact that it is indeed normal to question one’s existence and path in life. While simple, the themes are important lessons.