Robbinsville High School’s Spring Musical Helps Students Find Belonging, On and Off Stage

“Pippin” Runs March 31-April 2

March 27, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE – Brian Williams entered Robbinsville High School as a freshman in 2004 with his sights set on playing piano for Broadway productions. Then he got a taste of teaching.

“I was having a better time helping other people make music than making music myself,” said Williams, who as a student occasionally led choir classes when the instructor was out. “That’s how I caught the bug; the rest is history.”

Williams was part of the high school’s first graduating class in 2008, later earning a bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s degree in teaching from Westminster Choir College in 2012. He returned to the district, first teaching music at the middle school before moving to the high school in 2016.

Today, Williams is the high school’s choir director and director of the spring musical. From March 31-April 2, students are presenting the show “Pippin,” a widely acclaimed production about the son of a king who struggles to find his place in the world.

It’s an experience, Williams said, that is universally relatable to students and adults alike.

“Ultimately one of the reasons we picked the show is the main character is going through a crisis about where he fits in life, and teenagers are constantly evaluating where they fit,” Williams said. “Sometimes something extraordinary is incredibly ordinary. You take for granted what you have.”

About 70 students are involved in the production, on stage and in the crew. They have been working for months learning and rehearsing their lines, coordinating dance routines, painting sets and building props.

Among those students are Rachael and Bridget Godfrey, 17-year-old twin seniors who are leading key aspects of the show.

Rachael is the student technical director and stage crew coordinator who oversees everything from construction of the set to costumes, lighting design and sound control.

The role has helped Rachael strengthen her leadership abilities and management acumen. Those are skills she said will prove valuable throughout her life and career.

But school productions like the spring musical and fall drama can also help students find where they belong, an experience not unlike the lessons explored in “Pippin.”

“Being on crew always brought that sense of peace for me in middle school and high school. Crew always was something I could come back to and it made me very, very happy to be there,” Rachael said. “Whether it’s the people or the show we were doing, crew always feels like a family to me.”

Her sister, Bridget, plays the character Catherine, an on-stage lead in the show, and is one of the cast’s dance captains.

Bridget has long performed in productions outside of the school, including in community theater groups and venues in New York City.

That on-stage spark was lit when she began attending her older sisters’ high school productions as a child and became entranced by the magic of the stage.

“I always came out feeling so alive, and that’s something I want to send everybody home with,” Bridget said.

For Williams, the sisters’ experiences symbolize the power and potential of music. The productions are not just performances. They are learning opportunities that shape who students become and how they approach life.

“Music teaches to be diligent, to be humble, to believe in yourself, to take chances, to fail and know how to get up from that,” Williams said. “Stellar musicians, through their art, make us all better human beings.”

If You Go

What: Robbinsville High School spring musical “Pippin”

When: March 31-April 1 at 7 p.m., April 2 at 3 p.m.

Where: Robbinsville High School auditorium, 155 Robbinsville-Edinburg Road

Tickets: $12 for adults, $8 for students, $8 for seniors

Tickets are required for entry. To purchase tickets, visit

Cast members of Robbinsville High School’s spring musical “Pippin.”

Crew members of Robbinsville High School’s spring musical “Pippin.”

Bridget Godfrey is featured on a poster promoting Robbinsville High School’s spring musical “Pippin.”

Brian Williams

Brian Williams