Middle school pirates come to high school stage

Students from Carson Valley Middle School will bring to life the late 19th century comic operetta "The Pirates of Penzance," written by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Seventh, eighth and ninth graders have met for two hours after school almost every day since February to get their pirate voices to the correct scratchiness to send shivers down the audience members' spines. Monday was the cast and crew's first time rehearsing at Douglas High School, where the play will be performed next week.

"Don't worry, don't worry. I'll take care of this," said Darren Krattli, in a throaty voice as he wielded his sword.

He danced across the stage swinging his weapon back and forth, as the music played. Darren, 14, is not new to the theater, having performed in two plays at Gardnerville Elementary School.

This was just a run-through for this group, who by next week will again be up on stage, this time for the real performance. The musical will be performed 7 p.m. March 23-25 in the Douglas High School theater. The box office will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7, or $5 for children younger than 5 or students with an ASB card. Saturday is family night, when the whole family can see the play for $30.

In "The Pirates of Penzance," Frederic was as a child apprenticed to a band of tenderhearted, orphaned pirates by his nurse who, being hard of hearing, had mistaken her master's instructions to apprentice the boy to a pilot. Frederic, upon completing his 21st year, rejoices that he has fulfilled his indentures and is now free to return to respectable society. But it turns out that he was born on February 29 in leap year, and he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday. By the end of the opera, the pirates, a major general who knows nothing of military strategy, his large family of beautiful but unwed daughters, and the timid constabulary all contribute to a cacophony that can be silenced only by Queen Victoria's name.

Drama instructor and director Trudy Levy said she chose the play partly because it has a large cast with room for many students to participate.

"It's a love story - it's a fun theme and it's written by Gilbert and Sullivan," said Levy. "I wanted to be able to use as many kids as I could, and it's a musical."

Seventh-grader Cassie Fastabend plays Jim the pirate and she choreographed the play as well.

"It was really challenging, but seeing the outcome was really fun," said Cassie of being choreographer.

Although she has had years of dance training at a Zephyr Cove studio, this was her first time choreographing a play.

She grew up at Lake Tahoe and moved to Carson Valley three years ago, according to her mother, Chrissy Fastabend. She participated in drama at Jacks Valley Elementary School for two years before coming to Carson Valley Middle School.

Cassie's mom helped find props and costumes for the play and her dad made the swords.

Seventh-grader Sophie Wilson plays Kate, the general's daughter. This is her first time acting in a theatrical performance.

"Next year I'll try out again," she said, enthusiastically.

Amber Brooks, 12, who plays Tom the Drunk Pirate, said this is her third play since she has performed in two plays at her brother's church.

When asked if she was enjoying herself, she smiled and said, "Very much. I really like it."

Cast and crew of

"The Pirates of Penzance":

Directed by: Trudy Sevy

Assistant director: Aaron Sevy

Stage manager: Casey Cotter

Choreography: Cassie Fastabend


Pirate King - Darren Krattli

Samuel -Julie Pozun

Tom - Amber Brooks

Jim- Cassie Fastabend

Pirates - Ileah Kirchoff, Megan Avila-Frost

Frederic - Ryan Dykes

Ruth - Karysa Perez

Mabel - Alysse Austin

Kate - Sophie Wilson

Edith - Gabi Rose

Isabel - Ashley Gong

Polly - Julia Kerrigan

Laura - Kendra Abawi

Major General Stanley - Nathan Homestead

Sergeant - Taylor Woodman

Police - Anneliese Peters, Rachel Kiehne, Julia Callahan

Technical crews:

Lighting crew: Annelyse Klecker, Emily Chessell

Stage Crew: Robert Park, Faith Herron, Torey Ross, Elspeth Summersgill, Shelby Heiman, Lydia Ogles, Robert Park, Natalie Alltizer

n Some information came from the Web site http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/pirates/html/index.html


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