‘Last Pirates’ to set sail at Clark State’s Turner Studio Theatre

The 36-member cast of the original musical comedy “The Last Pirates of the Vast Golden Treasure” rehearse at the Turner Studio Theatre. The cast has performed in a combined total of 516 total productions between them. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
The 36-member cast of the original musical comedy “The Last Pirates of the Vast Golden Treasure” rehearse at the Turner Studio Theatre. The cast has performed in a combined total of 516 total productions between them. CONTRIBUTED

There will be a lot of yo-ho-ho and ha-ha-ha mixed in when "The Last Pirates of the Vast Golden Treasure" cast off.

The rollicking musical-comedy written by Dan Hunt and presented by the Clark State Theatre Arts Program will argh-rive at the Clark State Performing Arts Center's Kuss Auditorium at 8 p.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, along with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 8.

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When Clark State’s Associate Professor of Theatre Theresa Lauricella was looking for something different to produce for this season, she didn’t have to go far.

“I went to Dan and said ‘help’ and he said listen to this, and it was just what I was looking for,” she said of the project.

The musical presents a band of inept pirates who find a message in a bottle, leading them to a kingdom where they will do battle, look for fair maidens and attempt to free an imprisoned king.

All in a bungling way. There’s also the matter of the treasure.

“I saw it when it was in a pre-write and giggled so hard in the readings,” Lauricella said.

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There will be plenty of in-jokes and witty dialogue.

The gang’s leader, Pirate Earl, loves being a pirate and is noble, but not very intelligent according to Hunt, leading to him using words like “excrementally” in a way he thinks sounds smart.

It proved to be a challenge for actor Zach Roberts, who previously played in Clark State’s fall production of “King Lear.”

“Zach had a hard task. He’s got to know the wrong word and when to use it,” Hunt said. “It rests on his shoulders and he works really hard with natural ability.”

James Straley, who has directed six previous shows for Clark State and is used to doing adaptations of other material, said he found doing “Last Pirates” was brand new and fresh, and coming in late to direct adds to the spontaneity.

“Comedy is hard to teach. Drama we can drag out of you,” Straley said.

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The show features 28 songs, overtures, reprises and short songs.

The 36-member cast has a combined total of 516 total productions between them. This includes the 51st production for one and the first for a couple of others according to Lauricella; about half are Clark State students and others from the community.

The cast and crew are also excited to have the show in the Kuss Auditorium as opposed to the smaller Turner Studio Theatre.

Lauricella said being for all ages, the kids love pirates and can enjoy the antics while the adults can appreciate the humor in a different way.

“It’s a really funny show with a lot of surprises,” Straley said.


WANT TO GO?

What: The Last Pirates of the Vast Golden Treasure

Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, Kuss Auditorium, 300 South Fountain Ave. Springfield

When: 8 p.m. Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, April 8

Admission: $15 (plus ticket and facility fees)

More info: 937-328-3874 or http://pac.clarkstate.edu/events/calendar/last-pirates-of-the-vast-golden-treasure/

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