Apprentices perform for Rotary

ELKINS – A group of young, talented individuals paid a visit to the Elkins Rotary Club’s meeting Monday, singing and dancing during a live performance from their upcoming show, “Pippin.”

The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentices performed the song “It’s Time to Start Livin’,” encouraging audience members to take every opportunity to live their lives to the fullest.

“Pippin,” with book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, is the story of Charlemagne’s son Pippin immediately after he returns from his studies in Padua. The trouble is, despite outstanding performance at the university, Pippin is haunted by that age-old question, “Where do I belong?” Though the story is told in a bawdy comic style and takes place during the days of the Holy Roman Empire, the problem is quite current. Pippin, like many other youths, is desperate to find happiness without a clue of where to begin looking.

Missy Armentrout McCollam, executive director of The Old Brick Playhouse, said the production currently involves nearly 70 students who are spending their afterschool time memorizing lines, practicing choreography and singing for the musical, which is scheduled to run at 7 p.m. May 1-7, with a Sunday matinee on May 4 at 2 p.m.

McCollam said The Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice program has provided a safe, structured, after-school opportunity for secondary school students to engage in theatre for more than 20 years. The program begins in mid-October and the final performance is in the spring. Students attend weekly seminars and rehearsals, culminating in a main-stage production.

The program generally enrolls more than 80 students, and boasts an alumni roster of over 2,500 students, 100 of whom are either studying or working professionally in theatre.

The Old Brick Playhouse also offers a touring company specializing in providing entertaining and educational programs for children and youth. The Old Brick also offers summer camps for students from age 5 through 18 aimed at teaching theatre basics, a variety of acting styles, and much more.

McCollam said the theatre has lasted more than 20 years through community support.

“This couldn’t have happened in another town,” McCollam said.

Contact The Old Brick Playhouse at 304-637-9090 or email missy@theoldbrick.org for more information on the theater’s shows.

and programs.

Contact Chad Clem by email at cclem@theintermountain.com.