Pittsburg High School ‘Pippin’ musical cast to perform at Kansas Thespian Festival


Quiet on set as the cast and crew of ‘Pippin’ rehearse for one of their biggest performances, opening night on the main stage at the Kansas Thespian Festival.

“So excited to be going to Wichita and being able to perform this in front of a thousand plus thespians and its one of those feelings you get when you get on the stage and you see the audience and you’re like wow this is happening” said Gabriel Anderson, who plays Pippin.

“Being rewarded for our hard work is amazing, that’s the only way I can put it” added McKenna Shaw, leading player in the musical.

Pittsburg High School has been chosen for the state thespian festival 4 times now, in 2011, 2016 and 2018. Only 5 high schools in Kansas make it to the festival each year to perform.

For senior leads, Shaw and Anderson, it is their 3rd time getting to State, and though it’s an opportunity they’ve had before…It’s still a feeling like no other.

“To get to perform in front of thousands of our peers and people that actually get this stuff that’s such a unique opportunity and I don’t think people realize how amazing that is for a group of students” added Shaw.

Anderson credits the cast and crews hard work for the success.

“The dedication we all put into these shows and we get recognized for them for one of the five and really it’s a respected kind of feeling you know.”

Theater Director, Greg Shaw, says the festival is a big chance for his students to showcase their talent to college recruits, learn from professionals and grow in theater.

“That’s an important thing for places like Pittsburg and of course other communities around here, but I like it when our kids have an open opportunity to talk with those people”

And to show that hard work and dedication is all it takes.

“I like for our school to be able to show people that it doesn’t matter what community whether it’s got some farming, smaller businesses or whatever that you can still do the same thing on the theater and accomplish those goals” added Greg Shaw.

The cast unpacked their Pippin stage equipment and costumes to rehearse a few more times before heading to Wichita for the 3-day festival on January 9th through 11th.

They are holding an open rehearsal to the public on January 5th at 2 P.M. at the high school. Tickets will be $5 at the door.

The group is also waiting to hear if they have made it to the International Thespian Festival which would be another huge accomplishment. Only 11 high schools are chosen.