GLASGOW – Though the pirate ship’s not yet finished, members of the Far Off Broadway Players are preparing for a journey on the high seas.
Since April, the Glasgow-based community theater group has been rehearsing the musical “How I Became a Pirate,” which is based on the best-selling children’s book of the same name by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman.
Paul Glodfelter, the show’s director, said at a rehearsal Thursday that the musical follows the story of Jeremy Jacob, a boy who feels neglected by his parents’ focus on his recently born sibling and joins a pirate crew.
“They go on the ship and throughout the course of the rest of the play, Jeremy learns how to talk like a pirate, he learns all the lingo, he learns what pirates do and then they ask him what he does for fun. He says he plays soccer, so he teaches them how to play soccer on stage,” he said.
Glodfelter, who has worked as a stage director and actor across the country, said he previously directed “How I Became a Pirate” in Mesa, Ariz. He also played the character Braid Beard, who captains the ship in the story, in another version of the show in Lancaster, Pa.
“I just loved it so much, I really wanted to do it with our theater group here,” he said.
Glodfelter said he likes how audiences of all ages can relate to Jeremy Jacob’s story.
“I think it’s kind of a metaphor, really, because while he’s on the ship, you know, he starts to miss his home, and the pirates say, ‘Well, we get tired of pirates sometimes, too. We get tired, we miss home ... ,’ ” he said. “Here’s this little boy thinking everything’s going to be exciting out on the ship and he doesn’t want to be home anymore ... and his parents don’t pay any attention to him and all the sudden he gets away from them and realizes life’s pretty good back there.”
Performances are scheduled for July 26-28 at the Plaza Theater. The show begins at 7 p.m. July 26, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. July 27 and 2 p.m. July 28. Tickets are $5 for children 11 and younger and $10 for anyone 12 and older.
Glodfelter said he is especially impressed by the musical’s lead, 9-year-old Credence Cross, who has never performed in a play or musical.
Credence said his mother learned via Facebook that the Far Off Broadway Players were casting for the show and took him to the audition. “I’ve always wanted to be an actor, and then my mom finally found something for me to do,” he said.
Credence said he enjoys working through the show’s material with his fellow actors and has had fun learning his lines and performing the songs.
“I really like how we get to run around, how we have fun,” he said.
Jeff Moore, who wore a prominent sharktooth necklace at a recent rehearsal to help him slip into the role of the pirate Sharktooth, said this is his third production with the Far Off Broadway Players. He’s been involved in community theater since the mid-1980s.
Moore, an engineer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet by day, said he returns to community theater because it’s “a place for adults to play.”
“It’s kind of funny because my real job is very analytical,” he said. “Engineering can be very, very dry, and then this is very creative.”
Moore said he appreciates “How I Became a Pirate” because it’s designed to appeal to all ages.
“It’s very neatly crafted,” he said. “The best way that I’ve explained it to people is some people are like, ‘Ah, it’s a kid’s show.’ It’s kind of the way Disney has their formula where they have multiple layers in their animated features in which there are things that appeal to everyone despite what your age might be.”
Noah Smith, a recent Glasgow High School graduate who plays the role of German pirate Seymour Braunschwagger, has been involved in high school productions of “Guys and Dolls” and “Little Women,” among others.
He said “How I Became a Pirate” is more physically demanding than most other shows he’s been involved with, though he said he appreciates that the musical gives the cast a chance to explore themes that are less serious than what he’s used to.
“The aspect about this show, I’d say, is just the sheer joy that’s in every single second,” he said. “There’s not a sad moment. There’s a sincere moment, but other than that it’s just fun.”
Smith said he keeps returning to theater work because it allows him to show emotion through a performance for the audience to see in real time.
“It’s live. It’s all live. You do it in front of people and they get to see the fact that there’s no audio editing, there’s no fakeness, there’s no dubbing, there’s no editing the chords so you sound better. You do it live. It is what it is,” he said.
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