Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance washes ashore at SAU


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This year the Music Department and Drama Program at Spring Arbor University have chosen the timeless Gilbert and Sullivan classic The Pirates of Penzance as their joint musical theater production. The production is set to run in SAU’s White Auditorium, Thursday through Saturday, February 9-11, beginning at 8 p.m., and Sunday, February 12, beginning at 3 p.m.

The cast, orchestra and crew include students who have been involved with a variety of music and drama courses and activities. Adjunct professor, Dr. Natalie Emptage Downs, serves as the vocal director, with SAU’s director of instrumental music, Dr. Mark Douglass, as this production’s music director. Department of Communication and Media associate professor Jen Letherer is the director.

Students from a variety of courses in music and drama have collaborated over the course of the interim semester, and into the beginning of spring semester, to bring this production to life. The story of a band of kindhearted pirates who fall in love with a group of young ladies, only to be thwarted by their Major General father and a group of bumbling policemen, is being presented as if staged on a playground, with costumes and props that seem assembled from things found in basements and attics. This playfully comic story also has a lesson in honesty and integrity, set to the impeccable and unforgettable music of Arthur Sullivan and book (lyrics and lines) of W.S. Gilbert.

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