About This Play

The 2015 Illinois High School Theatre Festival production of PIPPIN will celebrate the original Broadway production, incorporate some of the new circus elements of the current Broadway revival, while making its own individual mark on this iconic musical.

 “Sweeping the New York Awards circuit (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle) in 2013,
PIPPIN continues to captivate and appeal to the young at heart the world over. Heir to the Frankish throne, the young prince Pippin is in search of the secret to true happiness and fulfillment. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of the flesh, and the intrigues of political power (after disposing of his father King Charlemagne the Great). In the end, though, Pippin finds happiness lies not in extraordinary endeavors, but rather the un-extraordinary moments that happen every day. With an infectiously unforgettable score from the four-time Grammy-winner, three-time Oscar-winner, and musical theatre giant Stephen Schwartz (WICKED, GODSPELL, CHILDREN OF EDEN), PIPPIN’s message is universal and will connect with audiences across the age spectrum.”  (MTI)

Casting and Company Requirements


CLICK HERE for details about ORCHESTRA AUDITIONS (live or recorded).

Cast of 32-38 performers

  • This production requires cast members to be actors, singers and dancers.
  • You will need to be able to demonstrate all of these skills at your audition; however, you do not necessarily have to be a “triple-threat” to play all roles.
  • There are 3 Male Principal Roles (Pippin, Charlemagne and Lewis) and 3 Female Principal Roles (Catherine, Fastrada and Berthe). The role of the Leading Player can be played by either a male or a female.
  • You can read character breakdowns and ranges by clicking here.
  • Ensemble members will need to be strong singers and dancers. Performers who can display circus skills (gymnastics, juggling, etc.) are highly encouraged to audition.  
25 crew members.
  • Crew members need to demonstrate versatility and a willingness to work in a number of areas.
  • Initially everyone serves on “Crew” doing the work that is needed.
  • As we approach the November, December, and January rehearsals, crew members will be divided into specific areas based on interest, ability, and the needs of the show.

All-State Participation Fee
There is a $450 fee to participate in the All-State show. This charge covers meals for rehearsal weekends and production week, housing during production week (in Champaign, Urbana), transportation at Festival, and more. 

Please note: We have previously helped students raise all the funds necessary and limited scholarship money is available. Please do not let finances discourage you from auditioning.

If you have any questions, please contact: Laura Gilbert and Andy Sinclair, Producers, by emailing pippinproducers@ihstf.org

General Audition and Interview Guidelines


The deadline for submission of all materials is Friday, May 23, 2014.  All-State Pit Orchestra: Live or Recorded Rolling Auditions until all sections are selected!

There is no limit to the number of students a school can send to auditions and interviews; however, only seven students from each school may be selected for cast and crew.

A student may audition both as an actor and interview as a technician, but he/she must fill out both sets of materials and both fees.

All students interested in the 2015 All-State production MUST:

  1. Fill out the appropriate application:
    (Note:  If you are applying for both positions, please fill out a separate application for each)
    1. All-State Actor Application Form CLOSED
    2. All-State Technical Crew Application Form CLOSED 
    3. All-State Orchestra Application Form STILL OPEN!

  2. Audition/Interview Fee: Submit a $15 credit card payment to the ILLINOIS THEATRE ASSOCIATION. 
    (Note: if you are applying for multiple positions, please submit separate $15 payments for each form.)

  3. Assemble all supporting documentation:
    1. Résumé and headshot/photograph (if applicable)
      1. for a sample actor resume, click here 
      2. for a sample technican resume, click here 
    2. 2014-2015 Participation Required Signatures Form
    3. 2014-2015 All-State Medical/Liability Release Form
      Note: This form asks that you agree to abide by the IHSTF Guidelines.
    4. 2014-2015 All-State Media Release Form

  4. Submit all supporting documentation by
    Scanning & emailing all forms to pippinproducers@ihstf.org

    Please save each form following this format:  LastName_NameofForm 

    Example:  Smith_Headshot.jpg; Smith_Resume.pdf; Smith_RequiredSignature.pdf; Smith_MedicalLiability.pdf; Smith_MediaRelease.pdf

  5. Follow-up with school director/instructor - Upon receipt of your application, a Student Recommendation Form will be emailed from us to the director/instructor listed on your application.  (The school email address MUST be a valid and verifiable email address.)  The director/instructor will be asked to fill out the form and send directly to us. Please follow-up with your director/instructor and remind him/her to do so!

  6. Confirm your audition/interview appointment (will be posted online on June 6, 2014) by emailing pippinproducers@ihstf.org
The deadline for submission of all materials is May 23, 2014.


Auditions and tech interviews on June 18 & 19 will be held at
Maine East High School, 2601 Dempster Street, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Auditions and tech interviews on June 20 will be held at
Centennial High School, 913 Crescent Drive,Champaign, Illinois 61821

Performance Calbacks will be held on June 22 at
Lockport Township High School, 1333 East 7th Street, Lockport, Illinois 60441

  • Check-in 20-30 minutes before the assigned time to verify completion of forms.

  • Actors will sing their song and then perform their monologues individually.

  • Technicians will be accompanied to the entrance of the audition room to await their interview time. Interview times will be seven (7) minutes/student. Following the interview, technicians are excused and free to leave.

  • Callbacks will be held on Sunday, so please check the website for the callback list on Friday night. The list will be posted by 9:00pm. Technician callbacks will not be necessary.  

    All applicants and auditionees will be notified via email before July 1st. A Company list will also be posted online on July 1st at www.illinoistheatrefest.org.  


Recorded Auditions must meet the following requirements:

    • Two excerpts from solos, etudes or studies, each two to three minutes in length, with contrasting tempos and styles.  

    • Please choose sections that will demonstrate both technical fluency and musical expressiveness.

    • If auditioning by tape/CD recording, include the excerpt part being performed. Those auditioning in person should bring an additional part for the director.

    • Drum set players may choose excerpts of published jazz band charts with contrasting tempos and styles.

    • Keyboard players should play piano for these auditions.

    • Note:Live callback auditions may be scheduled.   If so, you will be notified of the time and location after the evaluation of application materials and audition recording.

      Submit .mp3 file on USB Drive or CD-R 

      via snail mail to:

      Maine East High School
      Fine Arts Department
      2601 W. Dempster St.
      Park Ridge, IL 60068

      Write on back of envelope: Pippin Audition Materials Enclosed

If you have any questions, please contact: Laura Gilbert & Andy Sinclair, Producers, by emailing pippinproducers@ihstf.org.
Actor Audition Tips & Guidelines


  1. A song, 32 bars in length (Pick something in the style of the musical but it SHOULD NOT come from Pippin. Also, please DO NOT sing from Wicked).
  2.  A monologue, 30 - 60 seconds in length.
  3. A dance audition. Once you have completed your vocal and acting audition, a dance combination will be taught and performed in small groups.
  4. If you have any circus skills to demonstrate, you will share those at the end of your dance audition. THESE ARE OPTIONAL.

***Reading from the script will be a part of the callback.

Just as you would for any audition, research the production.  Read the script - listen to the music - watch some video. There is no better way to understand the material for which you are auditioning.

Choose anything in the style of Contemporary Broadway or Pop Broadway including Stephen Schwartz (except Wicked and Pippin). You want to sing something that shows off your voice and your range.  It should also give a sense of what roles in Pippin you might be right for.  In other words, if you think you are right for Pippin - choose a Broadway song that is in the same style as a song Pippin would sing.  Make sure your song is 32 bars.  It should be no longer than 60 seconds.

Pick a monologue that will showcase your ability to bring believability and humor to a role.  The characters in Pippin are slightly larger than life but they still need to be truthful. Choose something contemporary (from the 20th century or later), from a play (no movies or literature). DO NOT WRITE YOUR OWN MONOLOGUE!  Once again, choose something in the style of a character you think you would be right for.

For your vocal/acting audition you should always dress your best, not necessarily dress the part. Keep in mind that the clothes you wear say something about you, but be sure they do not take center stage. The audition is meant to showcase YOU and your abilities. Your attire is the supporting role. For your dance audition you should come dressed to move and still dress professionally. Neat dance attire and dance shoes are best. Avoid baggy clothing and shirts with logos on them.  You will have time to change into your dance attire after your vocal/acting audition.

Before you take the stage, speak briefly with the accompanist about your audition song. Set the tempo and point out any essential cuts or phrasing notes. Next, take center stage with confidence and poise – your entrance is the beginning of your audition! Then, loudly and clearly, slate your name, school, and the name of the musical from which your song comes. Finally, take a deep breath and do your best. When you finish your song, slate your monologue with the title of the play it is from. Again, take a deep breath and do your best.

In small groups, you will be taught a short dance combination. You will have a chance to practice this combination a number of times before you perform it for the creative staff. You should learn the combination quickly and accurately and dance it with verve. Enthusiasm occasionally substitutes for lack of specific training.  Expect that the combination will be in the style of Pippin.

Check out the “How to Audition for the All-State” video HERE. 
(This will be linked soon. Stay tune!)

Technician Interview Tips and Guidelines


  • Be prepared to discuss what technical theatre work you have done.
  • Bring a portfolio to show examples of projects you’ve worked on.
  • Be able to explain your areas of greatest interest.
  • You will be interviewed for approximately seven (7) minutes.

We are looking for examples of your work. This can be in the form of paperwork, actual props/costumes (if available) and photos. More specific possibilities below include:

  • Show books including marked scripst, cue sheets, prop lists, etc.
  • Light plots and sections, channel hookups, instrument schedules
  • Microphone plots, selected recordings (if available)
  • Draftings, drawings, sketches (napkin sketches count!)
  • Paint samples, built props (if available)
  • Examples of types of sewing stitches you are able to create
  • PHOTOS OF YOUR WORK! Try to include process shots as well as the final product.
  • Include captions detailing your contributions to each project.
  • Résumé. This should include your name, contact information and a list of shows for which you have worked. For each show include the play title, producing company (your high school in most cases), your job title, the year of the show, and the director or designer with whom you worked.

These materials may be printed on paper and bound or placed in a binder. Alternately, you may bring actual objects or digitally formatted work. For digital portfolios we require that you bring your own laptop or other viewing source.


The purpose of any interview is for your interviewer to get to know you. Who are you? What are you passionate about? What are your goals? You will be asked types of questions:

Basic questions about yourself:
How would you describe your work style?
What are your strengths/weaknesses?

Behavioral questions:
Give me an example of a time that you felt you went above and beyond what was asked of you.
Once completed with a task, what do you do?

Open-ended questions:
Why should you be considered for a crew position for Pippin?

 Why do you want to be a part of the All-State crew?

Throughout the interview your résumé and portfolio will be assessed by the interviewer(s). Be prepared to answer specific questions about each show, the process, the people with whom you worked and the final product.

Remember, the purpose of the interview is to introduce you in the best possible way. Since all students are being interviewed for general technicians, your résumé should describe your technical experience in any and all areas. Be confident that you are the best candidate for the position of technician, and let your experience back you up. We suggest practice interviewing with a partner. Typically this works best with someone you don’t know very well rather than your best friend, as they probably already know the answers to the questions!

For any interview you should always dress your best. Keep in mind that the clothes you wear say something about you, but be sure they do not take center stage. The interview is to showcase YOU and your abilities. Your attire is the supporting role. 

If you have any questions, please contact: Laura Gilbert & Andy Sinclair, Producers, by emailing pippinproducers@ihstf.org.
Important Information About Rehearsal/Build Weekends

Do I really have to be at all these rehearsals?

*YES. There is NO excused absence from All-State weekends. Please make sure you are available on ALL of these dates. Specific call times will be given once casting/selection is complete. Make sure your calendar is clear.

Rehearsal and build dates are as follows:
  • August 8, 9 & 10
  • August 29*-September 1
  • October 10*-October 13
  • November 28-November 30
  • December 28-December 30
  • January 5*-10
    (Production Week at University of Illinois)
*denotes evening
Where will rehearsals be held?  
Most rehearsals/set build weekends will be at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.

All January dates will be held at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana.

***Students are responsible for their own transportation to the rehearsals and builds as well as to the Festival in January. Lodging will be provided to every student who requests it during regular rehearsal periods.  The entire Company will be provided lodging during the month of January.

What if I do not live near Park Ridge?
We will arrange housing with fellow Company members (or Maine East theatre students) to make sure that you have a place to stay.

If you have any questions, please contact: Laura Gilbert & Andy Sinclairs, Producers, by emailing pippinproducers@ihstf.org.