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The Pirates of Penzance

May 13, 14, 15, 1999

Confederation Centre Main Stage, Charlottetown

Written by: W.S. Gilbert (libretto) and Arthur Sullivan (music)

Director: Terry Pratt

Music Director: Owen Aylward

Producer: Rob Thomson

Stage Manager: Wallena Higgins

Lead actor/singers:

Mabel: Claire Caseley Smith

Frederic: Sean Clement

Pirate King: Ben Kinder

Major-General Stanley: David McMullen

Ruth: Juliana Elzinga

Sergeant of Police: René Hurtubise

  The show had a cast and chorus of 42 persons, plus a pit orchestra of 19.


Pirates is one of the most popular and enduring G&S comic operas. Of course it has the typical absurdity … Young Frederic was apprenticed to a band of tender-hearted pirates — because his nurse mis-heard the instruction to sign him up for a ‘pilot’. He is bound by contract until he reaches his 21st birthday. He is now released, free to pursue a law-abiding life, and his new-found love of Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley (“I am the very model of a modern major-general”). But no! It emerges that Frederic was born on the 29th of February, and so has a birthday only once each leap year — meaning that he must serve for another 63 years! … and his sense of duty leads him to return to the pirate life. A farcical battle between the pirates and the police, overwhelming loyalty to Queen Victoria, and a startling revelation lead to a happy ending.

Director Terry Pratt adapted things to be set on PEI.


A bonus: doing a banquet appearance for a convention of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada earned ACT an extra $4000.

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