NEWTON, NJ—The students of Newton High School will present “Pippin” on Friday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26. The show is directed by Brendan Scullin.

“Pippin” is a story about a performing troupe that moves from town to town performing their stories. The story takes place in no particular time or place. What keeps their lives and professions going, is their finale.

The finale, which involves one individual player stepping into the fire and burning alive, never fails and brings the troupe great success. However, they are always on the lookout for a new player; a player they must convince to be “The Finale.”

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“Our play begins when the players meet Pippin, an individual who wants to be extraordinary, but simply cannot find his niche in life. The Players take on the roles of individuals in Pippin’s life in order to illustrate all of his failed attempts to be extraordinary. The troupe looks to lead Pippin to the one place they know he will succeed, their finale,” according to a press release from the high school.

In addition to the director Scullin, there are three other adults who have helped in making the production possible; music director Matt Petrozelli, Choreographer Kimberly Jackson and pit conductor Steve O’Toole.

Jackie Mull, a junior, along with senior Ashley McDonnell, play the Player’s Muse and Emily Kurnides, a sophomore, is the Leading Player of the play.

“Being a part of Pippin is one of the best things I could have ever dreamed of," Kurnides said. "I love the cast, we’re such a great family and the show itself is just amazing with all the great songs and dances. Being on stage just makes me so happy, so ecstatic and I love being able to please the people and seeing a smile on their face when they’re leaving.".  

“Theater and dance have been a part of my life since I was two years old, so being here, has helped my passion grow even more," McDonnel said. "The cast is so wonderful, as Kurnides said, we’re like a big family, we always laugh and joke around, but we manage to get the work done and I think that is what is so amazing about Newton, we work so well together and we produce something so amazing, and I am so proud to be a part of this family."

“Pippin is one of my favorite shows so doing this is pretty awesome,” said Mull. “This cast is so talented and there is never a time where I am unhappy at rehearsal because as soon as I get on stage and hear everyone singing I just light up. I love the cast and I love this show and I can’t wait for people to see it.”

The main character, Pippin, is played by Jaydeep Mukherjee, a junior at Newton High School.

“Doing the show 'Pippin' has been wonderful, it lets me abandon all my problems at school and in life and come here and sing my heart out on stage and I just love it,” said Mukherjee.

Some of the other characters that star in Pippin are senior Sarah Blake, who plays Fastrada, Julia Nehrings a senior who plays Catherine, Kyle Penny, a junior who plays Charles, and freshman Carolyn Granholm, playing Thea.

Opening night of the show is Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Newton High School Auditorium and reserved seating tickets can be purchased for $10 at the box office in the NHS Auditorium Lobby on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 6 until 8:30 p.m. or at

The second showing of Pippin will be on Saturday, March 25 starting at 7:30 p.m. and the final showing will be after the Senior Luncheon on Sunday, March 26, at the high school, a 2 p.m. matinee.

For more photos of the dress rehearsal of Pippin, visit our Facebook page at