By Elizabeth Sias
A group of students at Braham Area High School has been hard at work singing and dancing on stage the past two months.
They’re preparing for the school’s fall musical Pippin, which opens Nov. 12.
Pippin is a musical that uses the premise of a mysterious acting troupe, led by a Leading Player, to tell the story of Pippin, a young prince on his search for meaning and significance.
“I like the comedy in Pippin,” Director AnnaRae Soderberg said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together and being able to hear the reactions from the audience.”
Auditions were held at the beginning of the school year. Since then, students watched the Broadway production of the musical on DVD and have been rehearsing five days a week since mid-September.
Along with rehearsals, a tech crew helped build the sets and Assistant Director Kathy Olson worked on costumes and props.
Soderberg, a 5th and 6th grade special education teacher for the district, directed the one act play last year, but this is her first time directing a musical. Musical Director Bryan Johnson chose Pippin.
“I like interacting with the students,” she said. “It’s fun to be able to interact with them outside of a classroom setting.”
The students are involved in so many activities that it can be challenging to find times when everyone is available to rehearse, Soderberg said.
Abby Salmonson has the role of the Leading Player, who she said acts as a guide to Pippin.
“Pippin is so weird. It’s different from all the other things that we’ve done,” she said. Salmonson, in 11th grade, has been involved in plays before and loves acting.
“I like to pretend I’m somebody else because it’s a lot of fun, and I really like to sing,” she said.
Ariel Ramstad, who plays Berthe, said she enjoys the comedy in Pippin. A 10th-grader, Ramstad was in three plays last year and likes both plays and musicals.
“With musicals, you get to have a lot of freedom and silliness with the music,” she said. “With plays, you can also develop your characters more.”
For Soderberg, the biggest reward has been working with the students.
“I love watching the kids’ excitement and how they interact with each other and how they encourage each other,” she said.
Show times are Nov. 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. To reserve tickets, call the school at 320-396-4444. Adults are $5 and students are $4.
Cast of Pippin:
Leading Player – Abby Salmonson
Pippin – Morgan O’Brien
Charles – Sam Anderson
Lewis – Ryan Hockert
Theo – Christian Patterson
Fastrada – Saffron O’Brien
Catherine – Becca Cuda
Berthe – Ariel Ramstad
Player 1 – Sammie Kreyer
Player 2 – Sammy Patterson
Player 3 – Jessica Westman
Player 4 – Dani Braund
Player 5 – Brianna Richmond
Courtier – Jenna Winter
Baron – Trenton Forsberg
Petitioner – Sara Mathison
Peasant – Cassy Mathison
Noble – Alysha Newsom
Soldier – Lauren Vanderport
Head – Brett Weigel
Newscaster 1 – McKenzie Larson
Newscaster 2 – Connor TeNapel
Girl – Jaimie Winter
Monk 1 – Stephanie Kurvers
Monk 2 – Rylie Johnson
Director – AnnaRae Soderberg
Assistant Director – Kathy Olson
Musical Director – Bryan Johnson
Technical Director – Nancy VanderHeyden
Choreographer – Lydia Orvis