Behind the scenes, Kidstage’s ‘Pirates’ is a family affair

  • Tue Mar 6th, 2012 6:41pm

<b>FAMILY TIME | </b>By Dale Burrows For the Weekly Herald

The befores are family commitments. The afters are family successes. The weeks of rehearsals in between are moms, dads and kids making showtime family time.

A Village Kidstage production is a win-win for families and the community.

When the lights go down on opening night next month, expect airship pirates, bumbling robotic cops, dimwitted lovers, dewy-eyed daughters and a dopey Major General when middle-schoolers strut their stuff re-inventing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.”

What you won’t see on stage is the community effort that went on behind the scenese to put those middle-schoolers on stage.

Kitchen tables negotiated transportation, schedules and a reworking of the family budget. Misgivings had to be sorted out. Fears had to be calmed.

Moms helped with costumes and countless other supportive chores. Dads pitched in building and painting sets.

Professionals had to target, plan and implement the motto, “Skills for theatre, skills for life.” Educating kids to the professional approach to producing theater is uppermost on everyone’s mind. Patience is their watchword.

“That’s a picture,” I heard director Samuel Pettit approve of the pirates after rearranging them on stage during a rehearsal. “Thank you.”

Also, “You’re not looking at those of us watching,” Pettit pointed out. “Don’t be afraid of your audience. This is a good time to practice.”

A little girl looking away peeked back and smiled. Want to talk about courage?

The kids were in street clothes. Other than a makeshift staircase and a curtain for a backdrop, there was no set. A piano made do for Sullivan’s music. Also, props were non-existent; the pirates had to sword fight without swords.

When I sat in on a “Pirates” rehearsal, the show was still in an early stage. But the enthusiasm pushing a team effort was already showing signs of success.

Kidstage’s “Pirates” promises to be an upbeat, imaginative, audience-interactive take on a time-tested musical farce. The families involved are excited about it. Village is excited about it. I’m excited about it.

‘The Pirates of Penzance’

WHEN: March 17-April 1

WHERE: Second Stage Theatre, 2730 Wetmore Ave., Everett

TICKETS: $14, $12 youth and seniors, 425-257-8600 or