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"Yo ho ho" and a whole lot of fun

Students take to the high seas for spring musical

When Winnisquam Middle School presents their spring musical, “A Pirate’s Life for Me,” on Friday and Saturday, the audience will be treated to a great evening of laughter, music and even a meal at the Saturday night dinner theater. Among the actors to take the stage are (L-R) Allyson McGuire, Ethan Cray, Cameron Doyle, Olivia Martinson, Hannah Smith, Catie Craig and Erica Markson. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
April 06, 2011
TILTON — After weeks of rehearsals, the hard-working cast and crew of Winnisquam Middle School's drama group said they are more than ready for this year's spring musical, "A Pirate's Life for Me," to debut tomorrow night (Friday, April 8).

The group said during a recent rehearsal that they look forward to entertaining their audiences with action, songs and a whole lot of laughter.

"It's a really funny play, with a lot of great lines I know the adults will enjoy. Kids just love pirates anyway, so it'll be a lot of fun for everyone," said pirate Hannah Smith.

Director Deb D'Agnese and her assistants have been busy blocking stage movements, teaching songs, building sets, rehearsing the lines and making costumes for the large cast, but D'Agnese said it has been her pleasure to work with this year's student participants.

"Every year, we have a great cast, but this year, the kids are really terrific. We've have had a lot of fun putting this show together," she said.

D'Agnese said she selected the play for its big cast, knowing she had a lot of boys and girls interested in participating.

"A Pirate's Life for Me" is about a young aristocrat named Roger Goodman (Cameron Doyle), who seeks to win the favor of the lady of his dreams, the wealthy Sarah Huffington (Olivia Martinson). Sarah, however, prefers pirates to the everyday "Joe," and therefore Roger transforms himself into Captain Blood through the help of pirate Long John Silver.

In the meantime, seeking a pirate, Sarah decides to become the Pirate Queen, and sets sail with her own crew of lady pirates. Toss in retired pirate Bluebeard, set them all on Treasure Island, and be prepared for lots of laughter with all that ensues.

"When I saw pirates, well, I just knew this was something people would enjoy. Everything is pirates now, with 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and all the other shows out there. It seems to be the time for pirates, so this was the best choice for our show this year," said D'Agnese.

She said she had also looked for a production that would include a lot of students in the cast, and "A Pirates Life" fit that bill.

"We have a really big, talented group of students who wanted to be in the play this year, and I wanted to include as many as possible. It's truly been fun," she said.

The students are all enjoying their "new life" as a pirate, and even the girls didn't mind being cast as one in the production. Who, they laughed, doesn't like a pirate?

Catie Craig, one of the females who takes to the high seas, said she has especially enjoyed the fight scenes.

"We're total ninjas now with a sword," she joked.

Another bonus the cast is excited about is the musical score. Calling the songs "fun," they said it's nice to be cast in roles where the singing doesn't matter as much, since pirates are a rollicky crowd anyway.

In the lead role, though, everyone agreed that Martinson has an amazing voice that the audience will love.

Colorful costumes also help bring the play to life. D'Agnese said it has all been made possible through not only the cast members, but the adults who have shared their time and skills in putting it all together. She credited Shannon Libby, Jo-Ala Markson and Deb Martinson as being a big help in this year's production, both backstage and for all the costumes, which they have been busy sewing.

"I don't know where I'd be without them," D'Agnese said.

Saturday evening's performance will include dinner in the price of admission — according to D'Agnese, sweet and sour chicken, salad, punch and ice cream sundaes for dessert. There will also be a vegetarian dish offered as a second option.

Curtains will rise at 7 p.m. Tickets for Friday's performance are $2 for students and seniors, $4 for adults. Saturday's dinner theater, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is $4 for students and seniors, $6 for adults, and there is a discounted price of $18 for a family of four or larger. Children under five are admitted free.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Alton School
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