I Was Touched By A Pirate
As a New Yorker, suspending one’s cynicism can be a mighty challenge. So when I was invited this Saturday to see a little comedy troupe called The Story Pirates perform a series of short plays conceived by small children, I admit I was a tad skeptical. Yet much to my delight, the Pirates’ performance was a big bowl of chicken soup for my sardonic city soul! The hour-long show cleverly blended playground humor with sophisticated playwriting and Broadway-style musical scoring. Oh, and puppets! Lots of irreverent puppets with silly names like Francoise Debun and Siegfried the Orange.
But what appeared to strike the audience most was the group’s refreshingly earnest mission. Comprised mainly of Northwestern University acting alum, the Pirates spend their days visiting underfunded public schools teaching student workshops in literacy and creative expression. The resulting mini-adaptations, carrying such titles as “The Dodo and the Dead People Next Door” and “How to Have the Best School on the Planet,” clearly preserve the mini-writers’ original intent. Ultimately the Pirates’ slogan says it all: “Plays written by kids, performed by adults who wish they still were.”
The Story Pirates perform a kid-friendly show every Saturday at 2PM at The Drama Book Shop. Once a month, they perform an edgier 18+ show at the Zipper Theatre. Check out more details here. –Johnny
See a video of 4th grader Michael Breen’s “Giant Bugs 2” below: