University’s Pied Pipers back as part of First Year Initiative

Posted: Thursday, 20 December 2007

TROY – Troy University’s acclaimed theater touring troupe the Pied Pipers are back in action.

Selected from first-year theatre majors as part of the Department of Speech and Theatre’s First-Year Initiative, the Pied Pipers were originally formed in 1970 reaching a zenith of some 60 performances a year at elementary schools around the state. When the University shifted from the quarter system to the semester system, the Pied Pipers discontinued touring because the performances interfered too heavily with class schedules, said Adena Moree, director of the Department of Theatre and co-chair of the Department Speech and Theatre.

“Last year, with the inauguration of the Department of Speech and Theatre’s First-Year Initiative, the group was brought back under the direction of Dr. David Dye and Alexander Stephano, assistant professor of theatre and speech,” she said.

Dr. Dye, now retired was the originator of the group in 1970.

The First-Year Initiative in theatre and speech is designed 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. The Initiative has tie-ins in all disciplines in the University and includes special counseling and advising services, all aimed at making the first year of university life successful for new students.

“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,” Moree said.

Already the Pied Pipers have performed its series of classical children’s stories at elementary schools in Troy and Dothan. The performances stress universal moral lessons, such as “slow and steady wins the race” as found in “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “we have lots in common” as found in “Sally, the Skunk,” and “build your house on a solid foundation” as found in “The Three Little Pigs.” These and two additional stories are connected with the race between the tortoise and the hare, culminating with a lesson about good sportsmanship.

Members of the Pied Pipers – all freshmen -- include Trey Allen of Montgomery, Danielle Barnett of Alabaster, Chris Boucher of Montgomery, Jasmine Cottrell of Alabaster, Mary Givens of Montgomery, Matavis Madden of Valley, Will Moody of Orange Beach, Patrick Murphy of Eufaula, Kristen Oliver of Huntsville, Brandon Stanton of Greenville, Troy Taylor of Warrior, and Doug Watkins of Madison.

For additional information about performances, please contact Ms. Adena Moree in the Troy University Department of Speech and Theatre at 334-670-3714.

Pied Pipers

The Troy University Pied Pipers are back in action after several years as part of the Department of Speech and Theatre’s First-Year Initiative aimed at helping freshman become successful. (TROY photo)