Abilene, KS – Great Plains Theatre Academy announces their summer camp production, Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. Jr. Designed for grades 5th thru 12th, this production engages campers not only as actors, but as co-creators of the production. They will participate in every aspect of the show; direction, choreography, costumes, sets etc. This camp empowers the actors to build the show themselves under the mentoring of GPT’s Education Director, Margaret Clair and Artistic Director, Randy West.
The shorter, simplified version of The Pirates of Penzance was chosen so that campers can easily learn the music and lines and have time for training in the production elements such as costumes, makeup, sets, dance, etc.
The Pirates of Penzance has been an audience favorite since 1879, enjoying popularity akin to shows like Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. It soared to popularity again with Joseph Papp’s fun and physical production for the New York Shakespeare Festival in the 80’s. The show then went on to Broadway and received seven Tony nominations, winning three including Outstanding Revival. In the movie version Linda Ronstadt played Mabel, the female ingénue lead, Rex Smith,(recorded “Everlasting Love” and “You Take My Breath Away”) played Frederick, and Kevin Kline was the swashbuckling Pirate King.
The cast of zany characters includes assorted Pirates, including the swashbuckling Pirate King, and Frederick, who was apprenticed in error to a pirate instead of a ‘pilot’ due to poor enunciation of the word. A bevy of young maidens. A regiment of dancing English police, think Keystone Cops, and Major-General Stanley, who delivers rapid-fire patter (think old-time rap that’s really fast).
The Pirates of Penzance falls into the category of “operetta”; the subject matter is light and comedic, but legitimate singing is required. This is an opportunity for our local young performers to experience a genre of musical that requires good vocal technique and formal movement. Each camper will received individualized vocal training and group dance training.
Pirates Camp will mostly rehearse at Great Plains Theatre and runs Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for three weeks, July 10 – July 28 and perform twice on July 28 on the mainstage at Great Plains Theatre. The cost for Pirates Camp is $250. Scholarships are available on a need basis.
For more information about GPT’s Academy programs and classes, please contact Margaret Clair, [email protected].