‘Pied Pipers’ at Trojan Center Tuesday

Published 10:50 pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Troy University Pied Pipers will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Trojan Center Theater on the University campus.

Adena Moree, chair of the University’s department of theater and dance, said the Pied Pipers are a popular professional theatre-for-youth ensemble sponsored by the department of theater and dance.

“One mission of the Troy University Department of Theater and Dance is to take live theater to the youngest school students who might not be otherwise exposed to the art,” Moree said. “Everyone, especially children in kindergarten through third grade, is invited for this one hour, free performance.”

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Dr. David Dye, the group’s founder and creative director, said the performance of well-known children’s stories will e colorful, fast-paced, acrobatic, humorous and visually engaging.

“Our target audience is kindergarten through third grades,” Dye said. The beauty of performing for children of those ages is that the children get to be involved in the performance. They become willing partners in the performance as they get to help save the day when a villain is about to do some terrible deed.”

In an effort to stimulate the imagination of children, Pied Piper performances are without scenery, props or character costumes.

“I never tire of watching young children respond to a Pied Pipers performance,” Moree said. “Some of them literally jump out of their seats when the Big Bad Wolf is chasing one of the three little pigs.”

The Pied Pipers recently returned from performing at the Theatre-for-Youth Festival at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga.

“The Southeastern Theater is the largest theatre conference in the United States,” Moree said. “The performance there was by invitation following a screening process of theatre-for-youth ensemble across the Southeast.”

The Troy University Pied Pipers began in 1970 with its first performance at Troy Elementary School. During the following decades, the group reached a peak with 60 performances a year in elementary schools around the state, in north Florida, at arts and crafts festivals, and at libraries. When the university moved from the quarter system to the semester system with a loss of prime touring dates outside of regular classes, the group discontinued its touring.

With the inauguration of the theatre department‘s First-Year Initiative program in 2006, the group was brought back into action at the request of Moree to provide a strong ensemble experience for freshmen, to provide an opportunity for a systematic introduction to the University and to the theatre discipline, and to aid in the University’s retention efforts.

“Equally important is that members of the ensemble learn early about giving back to the community through quality fine arts performances aimed at the youngest elementary- age students,” Dye said.

Doors of the Trojan Center Theater will open at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for the Pied Pipers performance, which begins at 7 p.m. Theatre seating is limited to 300.