November 12, 2004

Preparing for Penzance

Dryden Middle School's production of The Pirates of Penzance is in its last week of rehearsals, getting ready for performances next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Pirates at Dryden Middle School
Rehearsing The Pirates of Penzance at Dryden Middle School.

Here's the press release, with many more details about the play and the production.

Dryden Middle School Presents Gilbert and Sullivan's musical farce The Pirates of Penzance

Dryden, NY — November 12 — Dryden Middle Schoolers promise to swash your buckles with an over-the-top rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance to be performed November 18, 19, and 20 beginning each night at 7:00 at the Dryden Middle School/High School auditorium.

The Pirates of Penzance opened in New York City in December 1879. On December 10, Sullivan had written a letter to his mother about the new opera. "I think it will be a great success, for it is exquisitely funny and the music is strikingly tuneful and catching." The Pirates of Penzance was an immediate hit. Today it is one of the most popular and enduring works of musical theater.

The plot of The Pirates of Penzance centers on the dilemma of young Frederic who, as a child, was apprenticed in error to a band of tenderhearted pirates until his 21st birthday. Frederic knows piracy is morally wrong, and so upon completing his 21st year rejoices that he has fulfilled his pirate service and is free to return to respectable society. But since Fred was born in leap year on February 29, he is bound to remain a pirate until his 21st birthday, a day far into the future. Helping Frederic to deal with his unusual dilemma are the brash Pirate King, Ruth, Frederic's nurse, lovely Mabel and her 22 unwed sisters, and the pompous Major General Stanley. In the Dryden Middle School production, Carl Beno plays Frederic and Sarah Becker plays Mabel. Thena Gitlin is Ruth. The Pirate King is played by Alyssa Morgan. The Major General is Lochlan Cahoon.

Dryden Middle School actors are fortunate to have a number of theater professionals working with them on the production of Pirates. Joey Steinhagen directs the show. He has been teaching, acting in, and directing theatre for young people in this area for more than ten years. Most recently, he directed the Dryden High School production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Steinhagen has been the Education Coordinator for the Hangar Theatre and the Supervisor of the Center for the Expressive Arts at the Ithaca Youth Bureau. Erica Steinhagen is Assistant Director of the middle school production. She has appeared in many productions on the Ithaca stage, at the Hangar Theatre and as a member of the Kitchen Theater Company, Greg McQuade is the showís musical director. He has been a Music teacher for twenty-five years. He has worked on local productions of Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Bye Bye Birdie, The Sound of Music, and others. Kevin Crewell choreographed Pirates. Crewell is a professional actor, singer, and choreographer in New York City.

Tickets are $4 for students and seniors, $6 for all others. The tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at Hill Drug in Dryden.

I'll try to get some pictures of the final version too!

Posted by simon at November 12, 2004 8:24 AM in
Note on photos