CORVALLIS, Ore. – W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s classic light opera, “The Pirates of Penzance,” will run Nov. 12-13 and Nov. 19-21 at Oregon State University. Performances begin nightly at 7:30 p.m., except for the Nov. 15 show at 2 p.m. – all on the Withycombe Hall main stage, located at 30th Street and Campus Way in Corvallis.
The production is produced in cooperation with OSU’s University Theatre, the OSU Department of Music, and the Friends of OSU Opera.
Director and scenic designer George Caldwell brings a new twist on this beloved musical romance by changing the traditional setting from Victorian England to the coast near Savannah, Ga., capturing the drama of the Antebellum South of the 1850s.
“’Pirates’ is a wonderful send-up of social hypocrisy satirizing the absurd nature of classicism and aristocratic rule,” Caldwell said. “The audience will hardly have to be reminded that in less than 10 years the entire nation will be ravaged by a conflict largely initiated by the actions of an entire class of ‘royal’ gentry.”
The play begins with a motley crew of pirates who encounter a group of southern belles. Not having seen maidens in many months, the sea-faring rogues begin their hot pursuit led by the most earnest pirate of all, Frederick, who has fallen for Mabel, the fairest of all the debutants. Frederick’s advances are soon impeded by Mabel’s papa, a local land baron and plantation owner named Major General. The state’s militia soon joins in the fun and complications ensue as the play builds into a classic Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic climax.
This production marks 100 years of OSU’s University Theatre producing works by Gilbert and Sullivan. The first OSU Gilbert and Sullivan production was “The Mikado” in 1909. This production of the “Pirates of Penzance” will be the largest cast to ever appear on the Withycombe stage.
In featured roles, the cast includes OSU students Brian Barlow (Portland) as Sergeant, Alison Duever (Corvallis) as Isabel, Shayne Flock (Central Point) as Samuel, Abbe Groh (Dallas) as Kate, Stuart Krug (Tualatin) as Major-General, Jeffrey Larkin (Gresham) as Frederic, Aubrey Peterson (Grants Pass) as Edith, Sarah R. Saul (Portland) as Ruth, Mari Stoner (Corvallis) as Mabel, and Nickoli Strommer (Baker City) as the pirate king.
Tickets are $14 general, $12 senior, $10 youth/student, and $5 for OSU students. Call the theater box office at 541-737-2784 for tickets and more information. Online purchases can be made at http://www.oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/