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Pippin is the story of a young man and his quest for his identity. Pippin (the main character) is the son of the war-thirsty Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, stepson to the delightful yet conniving Fastrada, and brother to a dim, insipid guy named Lewis, none of whom seem to offer fruitful assistance in his quest for "complete and ultimate fulfillment."
Anyway, the story is set in the medieval time period on a miniature golf course. Young Pippin, as smart as he is, has just been offered to be the· scholar of the house at the University of Padua. Yet, despite this honor, he is disheartened and discontent. So he declines this offer and sets out to run wild, to go where the wind takes him, to run like a chicken with its head cut off, to-- well, you get the point. He decides not to waste his life on ordinary activities. So he joins in the war against the Visigoths, of which his brother is a big part (and his father is the general).
After his first battle, Pippin decides that he wants more out of life than to watch heads and limbs fly into the air in the throes of war. So he pays a visit to his wise old grandmother Berthe, where he realizes that it's better to stop worrying and start living it up! Unfortunately, the wonder of having women hang all over him isn't enough to get him into the cosmic groove; and when it is brought to his attention that his father the King is an unfair ruler, Pippin plans to murder him (with a little help from his stepmother). He figures that he can be the new king and treat everyone fair and just. Yet this is a disastrous scheme; things do not turn out as well as had been hoped. Pippin does not want to give up. He tries being creative in art; he dedicates himself to the church; but he soon realizes that his quest is unfulfilling. The poor guy is completely out of options.
This is when a desperate widow named Catherine comes along and, with the help of her daughter and her daughter's duck, scrapes him up (literally) from the depths of despair. The question is this: will a home, a little girl, a sick duck, and lots of wild sex be enough for him? I guess you'll find out.
Theatre and Performance Studies
La Salle University, "Pippin" (1997). The Masque Programs. 23.