Thomas W. Olson, playwright
Roberta Carlson, composer
73 pgs. 6 female, 8 male +ensemble/puppeteers
Doubling is possible
Originally produced in CTC’s 1982-83 season
Run Time: 90 minutes
Audience Recommendation: All Ages
On the outskirts of town stands a ramshackle house. It may not seem like much ’til you peek through the railings…then, there’s a horse on the porch, a monkey in the kitchen and a freckle faced, red-pigtailed, whirlwind of a girl in mismatched stockings presiding over all! This is the domain of — ready? — Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking.
Pippi is outrageously unsupervised and proud of it. She has what she needs to get by, and if she doesn’t she’ll make something up that will do the trick. Her father is a pirate captain off sailing the seas. Her mother is an angel watching over her from heaven. And neither Mrs. Prysselius, head of the Child Welfare Board, nor Thunder and Bloom, a couple of ne’erdo- wells who try to abscond with the gold in her pirate treasure chest can get the best of her. Neither can the policemen who try to make her go to school, or the school teacher she meets once she goes. (She decides to give school a try once she learns from her neighbors and new very-best friends, Tommy and Annika, that if you go to school, you get a summer vacation.) In fact, the adults who come in contact with her often are the ones who learn from the encounter. She teaches the burglars in her house a lesson in manners when they use the word, “damn,” (language no well behaved person should use), and she conducts a real-world mathematics lesson at school until even the teacher enjoys the romp.
But it’s not that she’s unteachable. Pippi swallows her fears of not knowing any of the rules of etiquette and goes to a fancy party. She cares so much more than she’s willing to admit, and she learns a hard lesson that even fun can go too far, and sometimes what starts out as play can end up just plain disrespectful. She simply doesn’t fit, and it’s hard to imagine Pippi fitting in anywhere – unless you meet her, and then you can’t imagine life without her.
When her father sails (quite literally) into town just in time to rescue her from a solitary life in the Children’s Home, she has the chance to join him in his adventurous pirate life, but she chooses to stay. As odd as it seems, and against all the rules, she has found a place where she belongs.
“Fast-paced action-packed staging…a delight for both children and adults…Pippi’s zany antics infect everyone.” -Artscape
“A celebration of every child’s dream of independence…mesmerizing, fanciful.” -Star-Tribune
“Pippi Longstocking is silly fun with a serious twist.” -St. Paul Pioneer Press
You Never Know Where YOu Might Be Tomorrow, Part 1
Thunder and Bloom
Who Can Sail the Wind
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