Tryon Summer Youth Shows presented at TFAC

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

“Pippin” director Chris Tinkler (left) and Lena Duncan discuss the summer musical. (photo by Lorin Browning)

by Mark Monaghan

Man’s search for meaning is the theme of Tryon Little Theater’s summer

youth musical production of Stephen Schwartz’ “Pippin,” opening July 7 – 10 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC).

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Originally conceived by Schwartz as a student musical, the show opens with an acting troupe, in a variety of colorful costumes from several eras, intentionally anachronistic. In the opening song, “Magic to Do,” the leading player sings to the audience what is about to unfold: a journey of a young prince, Pippin. On a quest to find meaning for his life, Pippin sings “Corner of the Sky,” and dreams of an ‘extraordinary’ life.

Though the characters of Pippin and his father, Charlemagne, are based on two individuals from the early Middle Ages, the plot offers very little historical accuracy. Directed and choreographed for Broadway by Bob Fosse, it starred Tony Award winner Ben Vereen as the leading player and John Rubinstein in the title role.

Irene Ryan, of “The Beverly Hillbillies” television fame, created the role of Berthe. She performed

the song “No Time At All” and was nominated for Broadway’s 1973 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress for a Musical. Sadly, Ryan suffered a stroke during a performance of “Pippin” and died several days later at the age of 70.

Tryon director Chris Tinkler and musical director Lena Duncan hope to give the community a production that is “bright, colorful and fun.” The actors range from 13 – 21 years of age. Tickets for “Pippin” go on sale June 23 at the TLT box office, located at 516 S. Trade Street in Tryon. The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tickets may also be purchased one hour prior to performances at the TFAC. Call 828-859-2466 and leave message or email ticket requests to

Tryon Little Theater and Tryon Youth Center will present “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. This youth production features actors from 8 – 12 years of age. Directed by Marianne Carruth, “Tom Sawyer” will open July 28 – 31 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. Tickets for “Tom Sawyer” go on sale July 14 at the TLT box office. Tickets may also be purchased one hour prior to performance at TFAC, pending availability.

For more information on either of these productions, call producer Betty Brewer at 828-894-8722 or visit