The Pursuit of Happiness

Greenbrier Valley Theatre presents the epic Pippin. First directed for Broadway by Bob Fosse, this musical comedy will run May 26 & 27, June 1 - 3 and June 7 - 10 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance June 3 at 2:30 p.m.and a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Performance May 25 at 7:30 p.m.

 This soaring musical features young prince Pippin and his pursuit of adventure. A mysterious troupe of actors, led by a Leading Player, takes Pippin on a journey through war, regret and love as he searches for something more from life.

Will Nash Broyles, who was last seen as Tom Tom in GVT’s 2014 production of Babes in Toyland, stars as the young prince. Broyles, a dedicated actor, feels a deep connection with his character because he has also faced doubt about his future.

 Will Nash Broyles, who will portray Pippin in GVT’s 2017 production of  Pippin . (Photo Courtesy / Greenbrier Valley Theatre)

Will Nash Broyles, who will portray Pippin in GVT’s 2017 production of Pippin. (Photo Courtesy / Greenbrier Valley Theatre)

 “Even as a teenager, I knew that being on stage was what made me happy. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. But I went to school for engineering and tried to convince myself that I didn’t NEED to perform to be fulfilled,” Broyles said.

 Though his dream persisted, he was convinced to get his degree in Electrical Engineering, spending his senior year focusing on rocket propulsion and robotics. His time in college did not change what he knew in his heart he was meant to do.

 This diversely trained actor began his career at age 10. He portrayed John Darling in a production of Peter Pan at a community theatre in his home town of Anderson, South Carolina. As a professional, Broyles has been seen in classics like Grease, Footloose and The Sound of Music. Now he gets a chance to fulfill a long-held career goal.

“Playing this role has been a dream of mine ever since I was in high school,” Broyles said. “There’s a filmed production of Pippin from the '80s starring William Katt and Ben Vereen. I used to have a copy of it on VHS, and I watched it so many times that the tape stopped working.”

 Will Nash Broyles as Tom Tom, Kenny Wade Marshall* as Miss Muffet, and the cast of GVT’s 2014 production of  Babes in Toyland . (Photo  Courtesy / Greenbrier Valley Theatre) * denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association

Will Nash Broyles as Tom Tom, Kenny Wade Marshall* as Miss Muffet, and the cast of GVT’s 2014 production of Babes in Toyland. (Photo  Courtesy / Greenbrier Valley Theatre) * denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association

 This Pippin star is having the time of his life working with GVT Artistic Director Cathey Sawyer and Choreographer Donald Laney (Chicago, Beehive!). Broyles hopes that their genius, along with his close relationship with costar and Leading Player Kim Morgan Dean, will create a stunning production for the audience.

 This timeless and inspiring tale runs May 26 & 27, June 1 - 3 and June 7 - 10 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance June 3 at 2:30 p.m. and a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Performance May 25 at 7:30 p.m.Tickets are $30 for general admission, $27 for seniors and $20 for children/students. For tickets or more information, call GVT’s Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Laura Kastenbauer