October 16, 2003
Tickets are going fast for Oklahoma Baptist University’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.
The Saturday performances are nearly sold out, but many there are still seats available for the Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 Sunday matinees, which have 2:30 p.m. curtains in Craig-Dorland Theatre, located in OBU’s Shawnee Hall.
The large audiences are good news for a cast and crew that has put a large effort into making the performance a success.
"We auditioned Sept. 8 and since then we’ve had rehearsals five nights a week from 7 to 10 p.m.," said director Joyce Aldridge. "If they were lucky, I let them out on time. They also invested a lot of personal time practicing their music and fine-tuning their dance. Several afternoons were spent in Meredith Hines’ dance studio."
All the work makes for a performance that should be fun for both the cast and the audience.
"It is a lot of fun and it is very challenging," Aldridge said. "We don’t typically do operatic theatre or melodrama. It’s a style that we have had to get accustomed to. But we are having fun with it and I think the audience will too."
First premiered in 1879, Pirates tells the story of a young man, Frederick, who has just completed his apprenticeship to a band of pirates but is striving to begin a life free from such raucous living. As soon as he sets foot on dry land, he meets a beautiful young woman named Mabel and falls head over heels in love with her.
Determined to marry Mabel, Frederick’s plans are almost sunk because Mabel’s military father doesn’t look too kindly upon Frederick’s past, plus the Pirate King appears to reclaim his lost apprentice.
The whimsical and rollicking musical moves from musical number to number with energy and fun as the story takes chaotic twists and turns.
Major-General Stanley… Will Ledesma
Frederick… Black Bolerjack
Pirate King… Rex Daugherty
Samuel… Jeremy Simmons
Chorus Pirates… Toby Wan, Joshua Dodd, Collin Blackard and Colin Smart
Ruth… Andra Dunn
Mabel… Lindsey Doolin
Edith… Keri Burman
Kate… Heather Johnston
Isabel… Lee Matthews
Chorus Girls… Laurel Green and Crystal Morrow
Sergeant of Police… Robbie Willingham
Police Chorus… Justin Metcalfe, Aaron Kelley, Rob Christiansen and Nathaniel Rogers
Director… Dr. Joyce Aldridge
Musical director… Dr. Jon Gruett
Choreographer… Meredith R. Hines
Artistic director… Laura Byland, MFA
Scenic/lighting designer… Laura Byland, MFA
Stage manager… Rose Marie Packer
Assistant stage Manager… Latricia Reichman
Technical director… Matt Packer
Costume designer… Dottie DeLeon
Make-up designer… Sonia Justl
Props manager… Josh Cain
Sound technician… Breeman Ainsworth
Dramaturg… Beth Kinney