The Pirates of Penzance

by W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan
Directed by Jove Graham, Musical Direction by Diane Scott
Greenspace Center (Old Lewisburg High School) Auditorium
815 Market St, Lewisburg

Friday, July 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 15, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 16, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

RiverStage Community Theatre presents Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance on Friday July 14 and Saturday July 15 at 7:30pm, and Sunday July 16at 2:30 pm at the old high school (Greenspace Center), 815 Market Street in Lewisburg.  All seating is general admission, regular tickets are $15, and tickets for children ages 12 and under are $8, with group discounts available.  For tickets, click here.

The Pirates of Penzance is one of the greatest musicals out there—it really pulls you in and makes you laugh, but it’s a show that not many people have had a chance to see live,” says director Jove Graham.  “The story and characters are funny, the music is fantastic, and it’s one of those shows where you probably already recognize the tunes or have even been quoting it for years without even realizing it!”  Pirates, by composers William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, centers on Frederic, a young sailor who was mistakenly apprenticed to a pirate king as a boy, but who has decided to strike out on his own.  He falls in love with a girl, Mabel, and complications ensue when he must choose between protecting Mabel and her family from the pirates, or remaining loyal to his old pirate friends.  The show features a large cast of over 20 actors and a full, live orchestra, featuring some of Gilbert and Sullivan’s greatest songs including “Poor Wand’ring One,” “With Cat-Like Tread” and the frequently-parodied “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General.”  Pirates of Penzance, the fifth collaboration by Gilbert and Sullivan, originally premiered in 1879 and, over a century later won a 1981 Tony Award for a notable Broadway revival starring Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt.  The show is appropriate for all ages, and discounted tickets are available for kids age 12 and under.

“As always,” says Graham, “we’re excited at RiverStage when we can do great shows that aren’t frequently done anywhere else in this area.  We have been looking forward to doing Pirates for a long time now because it’s so much fun, not just for the audience but for us, too!  We have a terrific cast of singers, a professional orchestra under the direction of Diane Scott, and we are constantly laughing through every rehearsal.  I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a summer evening or afternoon than spending it with us, this great music, and these crazy characters!”   As RiverStage’s first musical in their new Lewisburg home, the show was also made possible in part by a grant from Lindig Lewisburg Foundation Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

This production of Pirates features actors, singers and dancers who have appeared in productions with RiverStage, Valley Players, Courtyard Theatre, Christ Wesleyan Church, Shippensburg University, and many others.  The cast is led by Tim Hippensteel of Milton and Brandy Aguirre of Winfield who play Frederic and Mabel, Nick Buckman of Bloomsburg who plays the Pirate King, Susan Diffenderfer of Thompsontown who plays the pirates’ maid Ruth, and Ross Wiley of Lewisburg who plays the Major-General Stanley.  They are joined by Colby Bastian of Sunbury as the pirate lieutenant Samuel, Fred Hooper of Selinsgrove as the Sergeant of Police, and Aubrey Potash, Bry Kifolo and Rebekah McBryan who play Mabel’s sisters Edith, Kate and Isabel, respectively.  Pirates will be the 32nd RiverStage production overall and the fifth one directed by Graham, with musical direction by Diane Scott, production design by Joe Barraclough, costume design by Cynthia Shaffer, lighting design by Rosalind Elise Parenzan, sound design by Stefan Eisenhower, fight choreography by Samantha Norton, and dance choreography by Devin Ilgenfritz.

Other featured players in the show include Steve Aguirre, Naveen Ramsaran, Chris Ericson and Lon Diffenderfer as police officers, Joseph Martin, Tyler Marvin, Kurt Umholtz and Matt Driscoll as pirates, and Kathryn North, Joanna Wiley and Emmalyn Diehl as the Major-General’s daughters.