About The Pirates of Penzance

The Pirates of Penzance, written by the wildly popular lyricist-composer duo of Gilbert and Sullivan, premiered in 1879.  Although nearly 150 years have passed since its premiere, Pirates remains a much-beloved comic opera that delights audiences with memorable songs and characters.  

Since operettas like Pirates are mostly sung, audiences are traditionally provided with a synopsis of events.  Before you attend, please read this synopsis adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica:

ACT I:  Frederic, who was indentured to a band of pirates when he was young, is celebrating his 21st birthday.  His nursemaid Ruth confesses to having apprenticed him to a pirate mistakenly.  Having come of age and fulfilled his obligation, Frederic announces to the Pirate King (his mentor and father figure) that he despises piracy and plans to leave in search of a suitable wife.  Just as soon as he goes ashore, Frederic spies a group of young women, who are the daughters of a local landowner, Major-General Stanley.  At first, the girls are cautious of Frederic, but one—Mabel—receives him kindly, and romance blooms between Frederic and Mabel.  Meanwhile, the pirate crew has returned to the shore, intent upon finding their own sweethearts.  The Pirate King and his crew are just about to abduct the girls when some cunning ploy on the part of Major-General Stanley saves them: He declares himself to be an orphan with no family except for his daughters.  The Pirate King, himself an orphan, takes mercy on the Stanleys and promises to leave them alone.  The company rejoices as Frederic and Mabel are released to be married with their friends and family.

ACT II: Freed from his obligation to the pirates, Frederic vows to capture the pirate crew with the help of the Sergeant of the Constables and his fellow police officers.  The Major-General, feeling pangs of guilt, admits to Frederic that he lied.  Before Frederic can lead his forces against the pirates, Ruth and the Pirate King inform him of a laughable paradox: that Frederic was born on February 29 (Leap Day).  Thus, despite the fact that he has lived twenty-one years, he is only a little over five years old--and, therefore, still indentured to the pirates!  Feeling duty-bound to his former crew, Frederic reveals the Major-General's lie, and the pirates swear to have their revenge.  When the constables arrive to combat the pirates, a melee ensues, and the police emerge victorious when they demand that the pirates surrender in the Queen's name.  However, Ruth saves the day when she reveals that the pirates are all wayward nobles eager to reclaim their nobility.  When order is restored, the pirates are released to a reformed life, and everyone rejoices in friendship and love.

St. Mary's High School Theatre

OUR MISSION: St. Mary’s HS Theatre is a dynamic collaboration between student artists and technicians, parents, directors, designers, and community volunteers.  Our aim is to nurture the talent of our students through the creation of dramatic art that is entertaining, uplifting, and memorable.  Moreover, we are dedicated to expanding our students’ knowledge and professional skills, creating a positive and inclusive program, and fostering a thriving arts community rooted in the mission and tradition of Catholic education.

OUR PROGRAM: Each year, St. Mary’s High School Theatre produces two full-scale productions, typically one comedy or drama and one musical.  A two- to three-month rehearsal and production process immerses students in the world of live theatre, both onstage and behind the scenes.  This intensive experience culminates in afternoon and evening performances before both the St. Mary’s community and eager public audiences.  In all things, we strive for true artistic and personal excellence.

Past performances have included: The Wizard of Oz, Steel Magnolias, Jesus Christ Superstar, Legally Blonde, The Crucible, Peter Pan, Romeo and Juliet…and many more!

OUR PEOPLE: Students are actively involved in every aspect of production, including acting, stage management, costume and lighting design, set construction and painting, and house and hospitality.  Additionally, our program thrives on the creative participation of literally dozens of people: student actors and technicians, adult directors and designers (many professionally trained!), and parent volunteers.

OUR LEGACY: Live theatre is part of a 2500-year-old tradition that transcends the boundaries of language, ethnicity, time, and politics.  It unites people through the tools of story, scene, and song; it communicates lasting ideals of beauty and truth; it affirms the power of the human spirit; and it echoes each person’s God-given talent and drive to create.