Nazareth College presents ‘Pippin’

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nazareth Musical Theatre students will be back on stage for “Pippin” with performances from October 21-24.

Harrison Sakai, who plays Pippin, and Dereck Atwater, who plays Charles, discussed the return to performing before a live audience and the show Thursday during News 8 at Noon.

“It’s been a while since we all have performed live and in-person,” said Atwater. “This is the first time for me personally that I’m performing without a mask for a long time and I’m very thankful for the school and the department for supporting us, our craft, and our endeavors. It’s really, really exciting.”

Atwater said performing without a mask offers the opportunity to be fully expressive. “It’s definitely a challenge performing with a mask because all you can really see are your eyes and your eyebrows, so you really have to double-down on the expression and the intention and the truth within what you’re trying to do. Releasing the mask reveals so much more, so much life.”

For Sakai, the story of “Pippin” was one he found relatable. “It’s about this guy Pippin who is just looking for something a little more from life and he tries everything he can think of,” he said. “It’s just about following that journey and what he really finds is ultimately important. There’s something that everyone can find in connection with Pippin’s story. I know going into the show and auditioning for it I read the script and I was like – I get this guy. Hopefully, a lot of people will feel that way when they come to see the show.”

The musical “Pippin” dates back to 1972, but Nazareth’s new Musical Theatre Director Christine O’Grady Roberts has created a show with a modern twist. “Christine had these great ideas about bringing in technology and all of these modern concepts to bring it into our present-day and find new ways to make this amazing story resonate,” Sakai said. “I think it’s going to be really interesting and great to see.”

Get your tickets now online at

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