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Marie Johnson/FOCUS The cast of “Pippi Longstocking” at a rehearsal at the Perham High School auditorium Monday. About 20 local children will be performing in the musical.

Pied Piper Players to perform ‘Pippi Longstocking’

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Pied Piper Players to perform ‘Pippi Longstocking’
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

She’s a whirlwind, she’s wild, she’s “just plain crazy,” say the Pied Piper Players of the heroine of their latest show, “Pippi Longstocking.”


The players will be telling this classic story of a red-pigtailed, freckle-faced girl with mismatched stockings at the Perham High School auditorium on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.

About 20 local children are involved in the production, which is a full-length musical. They’ve been rehearsing four days a week since mid-July.

“You learn a lot being in these plays – about the characters and how to do some things that you’ve never learned before, like how to build a set,” said Abby Tweeton, who plays Pippi. “It’s been really fun, entertaining and educational.”

Tweeton, a 12-year-old Perham student, has “the right energy” to play Pippi well, according to Director Rachel Lorentz. “Pippi needs to have a lot of energy.”

She needs to have a good memory, too – Tweeton said she’s got 242 lines to remember, plus several songs and dances. She also needs to have some acrobatic talents, as her role requires a few flips and cartwheels.

Though Tweeton is new to the Pied Piper Players, she’s been on stage before as the Ugly Duckling’s little sister in last year’s community musical, “Honk!” She said this show has given her an opportunity to work with her little brother, Reier Tweeton, who plays one of the school children.

The upcoming performance, she said, has her feeling only “somewhat nervous.”

Overall, she feels prepared and excited for show-time.

Other kids involved in the production demonstrate a similarly high level of confidence.

Coltan Myers, for example, who is also a 12-year-old student in Perham, said this is the fourth production he’s been a part of, and he has no intention of making it his last. He plays Captain Longstocking, Pippi’s pirate father.

“I just love acting,” he said.

Maddie Rose, age 11, also has prior stage experience, with past roles in “Tangled,” “Annie” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Her role in this performance, she said, “is different, and a lot of fun.”

That’s because, in “Pippi Longstocking,” Rose plays a “bad guy” – a robber named Bloom who tries to steal Pippi’s gold.

For those who don’t know the story, “Pippi Longstocking” is the tale of a girl who is outrageously unsupervised, and proud of it. Her father is off sailing the high seas, her mother is watching over her from heaven, and the Child Welfare Board can’t seem to get its grip on her.

Pippi (whose full name is – take a deep breath before trying to say this – Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking) is a carefree child who actually cares more than she’s willing to admit. And though she can be a troublemaker, and doesn’t seem to fit into her surroundings, those who come to know her can’t imagine life without her.

In the end, it’s usually Pippi’s biggest detractors who learn the most valuable lessons from their encounters with her.

Featuring colorful costumes, and an original set constructed largely by local pastor Paul Anderson, “Pippi Longstocking” promises to be a don’t-miss show full of fun songs and vibrant performances by local youth.

The cost to attend is $6 for adults and $3 for kids. Tickets will be sold at the door.

“Pippi Longstocking” is funded and sponsored through Community Education.

For more information, contact Director Rachel Lorentz at 457-0293.

Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
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