Pippin: New Ending/Casting Theo/Theo
Stephen Schwartz on casting THEO when using the alternate/new ending of PIPPIN.
Theo is fifteen or so throughout, so that as an adolescent, he is just coming to the place where he is ready to begin the journey that Pippin has just taken (and all of us take as we come into adulthood.) If he's too young, it's not believable when he sings "Corner of the Sky" at the end -- an eight-year-old isn't thinking that way. Does it change the outlook of the show? Not at all. If anything, it underlines the universality of the experience in (I think) a clever and theatrical way. Thanks for your interest. Sincerely, Stephen Schwartz
More on Theo:
It's difficult to imagine (it was certainly difficult for me before I saw it), but every line of Theo's dialogue works with him as a sort of sullen teenager. In fact, it's funnier ("the small lovable boy" line of the Leading Player's becomes ironic and gets a nice laugh.) And his attachment to his pet duck is actually quite believeable and surprisingly touching. Then when he lapses into Goth-like despair, it's more believeable when he's played by a teenager than when he's a smaller child. And finally, his attachment to Pippin and his gift of the flute at the scene before Pippin leaves has more heart to it, because it has been so hard won. As I say, this was all surprising to me when I saw it for the first time, but so far my EMail about it from various productions who have tried it has been unanimously positive.