CCHS drama club brings popular musical to the stage

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By Kristin Beck

Pirates, a nursemaid and a famous major-general take the stage in the Carroll County High School drama club production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”

The musical will be held on Friday March 26 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday March 27 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Carroll County Middle School Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children and students.

Set in the late 1800s on the coasts of Cornwall, England, the play follows a pirate apprentice named Frederic, who on his 21st birthday, gets to leave the pirate band and re-join civilization. However, after a turn of events, he realizes he is not really free at all, said Jennifer Beach, producer and parent volunteer for the play.

“He’s very clueless,” senior Caleb Duggins said of his character. “You can compare him to Dudley Do-Right—always driven by his duty.”

Duggins said it is this sense of duty that gets in the way of his romantic relationship with Mabel, played by junior Sarah Beach. Ruth, Frederic’s middle-aged nursemaid, played by senior Elizabeth Clark, is also competing for his affections.

”I like that she’s very unique in the play,” Clark said. “…She’s not as dainty as the other female characters.”

Duggins, who is performing in his first production, said his favorite scene is his duet with Clark.

“The songs are very catchy,” he said. “… I actually find myself singing them in class.”

Senior Jimmy Seaver, who plays Mabel’s father, Major-General Stanley, may have the most well known song in the show. The “Modern Major-General” has been referenced and parodied over the years in modern pop culture.

“As a major-general, he’s a little more analytical and eccentric and goofy,” Seaver said. “His mannerisms are funny. That’s what I enjoy portraying.”

Seaver, who is also making his debut in this production, hopes the audience will appreciate the ridiculousness of the musical.

“I hope people come understanding that it’s supposed to be melodramatic and the excesses are what makes it funny,” he said.

Duggins said the show is good for the entire family to come out and watch together.

“It’s a mutualism between adult comedy and because of the quirkiness, it can relate to younger children.”

Clark said she has had a lot of fun performing in the play and hopes it will show on stage.

“The people involved have made it enjoyable, and I’ve never been in a musical, so it’s a new experience for me,” she said.

Fifteen students are acting in the musical, however the production was a collaborative effort, Beach said. The art classes painted the sets; the shop classes built the sets; and the business classes promoted the show. Drama club sponsor and English teacher Ashley Howard directed the musical, and parent volunteer Cindy Hedges was the choreographer.

“It’s a classic, and it’s still entertaining 100 years later,” Jennifer Beach said. “I hope (the audience will) just be entertained… I just want people to come away with a smile.”