‘Pirates of Penzance’ is a swashbuckling combination of music and comedy


Pirates are taking over McCain Auditorium.

The Kansas State production of “Pirates of Penzance,” directed by Jerry Jay Cranford, assistant professor of theater and professional performer, opened in McCain on Thursday night and runs through Sunday.

The show follows Frederic, a pirate apprentice, whose time of obligation to a band of pirates has expired. As he aims to do good by attempting to leave and destroy the pirates, chaos ensues in the form of fast-paced action and musical numbers.

Cranford said he thinks “Pirates of Penzance” will give audiences a much-needed break from the winter weather.

“It’s cold out, and [the show] takes place on a beach,” Cranford said.

Emma Price, sophomore in theater, is a member of the cast. She said audiences can expect “a lot of fun bits” from the comedic operetta.

“It’s just a blast to do and listen to and watch,” Price said.

Cranford and Price agreed that students have embraced the humor of the show.

“There’s a lot of modern humor put into a classic opera, and that’s one of my favorite parts about it,” Price said.

Cranford said audience members who are familiar with the original production of “Pirates of Penzance” should recognize the story in K-State’s rendition.

“We are adding a few small contemporary bits of humor,” Cranford said, “but other than that, we are staying true to the 1983 version that ran in New York.”

He said the comedic side of the show is what makes it enjoyable for both the cast and those watching.

“I think it’s fun for a lot of the music students who have done serious operas to suddenly get to act silly,” Cranford said. “It’s just a big ball of sunshine.”

Savana Gorman, freshman in secondary education and wardrobe designer for the show, said both the bold costumes and the chemistry of the actors are clearly seen on stage.

“It’s the coolest show,” Gorman said, “and the costumes are really fun.”

“Pirates of Penzance” shows in McCain Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with a matinee showing at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $19.50 for the general public and $17.50 for military, seniors over 55 and K-State faculty/staff. For K-State students and youth under 18, tickets are $14, and all tickets are available online or an hour before the show starts at the McCain Box Office.