LaGuardia Theater Program to Perform Pippin, Set in A Post-Apocalyptic World

Catalina Kaloferov (at center) with lead Michael Hernandez (lying on boxes), during a rehearsal for Pippin.
Catalina Kaloferov (at center) with lead Michael Hernandez (lying on boxes), during a rehearsal for Pippin.

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (April 30, 2024) — The LaGuardia Community College/CUNY Theater Program will perform the Tony-award winning musical Pippin. Under the direction of Theater Professor Stefanie Sertich, the production is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Tickets are available for performances running from May 13 through May 20; click HERE to reserve

This coming-of-age musical follows the story of a young man named Pippin grappling with his identity, purpose, and the pursuit of fulfillment. After becoming a soldier for his father’s army, Pippin becomes upset by the killing and murders he sees in war and murders his father to stop the fighting. Now king, Pippin is even more lost and unsure about what he wants in life and turns away from everything, including love. Eventually he discovers that what he has been searching for has been there all along. This musical asks, how do we find happiness and fulfillment—especially in a world wrought with war and oppression? What are we willing to sacrifice for the choices we make?

“Pippin’s message is universal and will connect with audiences across the age spectrum,” said Professor Sertich. “We’ve set Pippin in the year 2044, 20 years after a fictional catastrophic world war. Led by the Leading Player, a troupe of wandering players find The Black Box Theatre at LaGuardia to be the ideal spot to stage Pippin for the surviving audience.”

Cast and crew for LaGuardia’s production of Pippin are mainly comprised of LaGuardia Theater majors, with the addition of two youth actors making their theatrical debut in Pippin. Catalina Kaloferov, 11, and Abel Tőke Nichols, 10, share the role of Theo. Catalina, a 6th grader at I.S. 227 Louis Armstrong Middle School, is the daughter of Snezhana Kenarova, development manager with LaGuardia’s Division of Institutional Advancement. Abel, a 4th grader at P.S. 150 in Sunnyside, is the son of Dr. Lilla Tőke, associate professor of English.

Music and lyrics for Pippin were written by Oscar and Grammy winner Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson. The show uses the premise of a mysterious performance troupe led by the Leading Player to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince searching for meaning and significance. The original piece blends fictional elements with historical characters—such as Charlemagne, the medieval ruler who united much of Western Europe and was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III in the 8th Century. The original Broadway production debuted in 1972, directed by the legendary choreographer and director Bob Fosse, who also contributed to the libretto.

Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for Wicked and The Prince of Egypt. He collaborated with EGOT-winner Alan Menken on the soundtracks for Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Pippin will be on stage in LaGuardia’s Black Box Theater, 31-10 Thomson Ave, Room M-122, Long Island City, NY 11101. Run time is approx. 2 hours/ 2 hours and 15 minutes (two acts; one intermission). Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Performances include:

  • Monday, May 13 at 5 p.m. — Open Dress Rehearsal
  • Wednesday, May 15 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 20 at 5 p.m.

Click HERE to reserve tickets. Tickets are $8/each for students (students with financial issues will not be turned away), and $10/each for members of the general public.

LaGuardia’s Theater Program leads to an Associate of Science (AS) degree and provides students with skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a wide spectrum of careers in the theater. LaGuardia students have received numerous honors and awards in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the foremost theater festival for students at two-year and four-year colleges and conservatories nationwide. Program graduates regularly transfer to audition-based theater programs and have been awarded competitive scholarships to attend theater conservatory programs.

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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