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AHOY! Set Sail on a Swashbuckling Theatrical Adventure with HOW I BECAME A PIRATE

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The show will play out under the stars at SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre Oct. 12-30.

AHOY! Set Sail on a Swashbuckling Theatrical Adventure with HOW I BECAME A PIRATE

"How I Became a Pirate" has been such an audience favorite that SCERA is bringing the Theatre for Young Audiences musical back with one big difference: it gets to play out under the stars at SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre Oct. 12-30.

"It is so exciting to take the show to this much larger stage, because we can get away with creating a much, much larger pirate ship than we can indoors, and we're taking advantage of that opportunity," says Shawn M. Herrera, who is directing and choreographing the one hour show, as well as providing the scenic design.

Based on the children's book by Melinda Long, "How I Became A Pirate" will play Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Audiences must choose a specific night to attend, and can get tickets at www.scera.org, by calling 801-225-ARTS, in person at the main office at SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 South State, Orem, or at the Shell box office one hour before each performance. Adult admission is $8 and child's admission (age 3-11) is $5. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets for $5.00 each. Chairs will be preset for distancing, and masks are strongly encouraged, but especially as you enter, get seated, at concessions and in the restrooms. This follows the Utah County mask guidelines and orange phase protocols.

"This is a great musical for kids with plenty for adults to enjoy," says Herrera. "It is a really fun moment to see a pirate ship appear before your eyes," he adds. "It offers a real wow factor. The ship has been constructed with three pieces that provide a kind of set ballet as they move around and connect to create the body of the ship. It's definitely one of those moments I think pirates of any age will enjoy."

Those who read Long's book will recognize the plot: A band of comical pirates land at North Beach looking for an expert digger to join their crew. They enlist young Jeremy Jacob to help them find the perfect sport to bury their treasure. It is an adventure in fun where Jeremy also learns that love and home are treasures not found on any map.

Jeremy Jacob is played by Nathanael Mildenstein; his real-life father Aaron Mildenstein is Captain Braid Beard. Filling the role of Braid Beard is particularly poignant for Aaron as he read the book How I Became A Pirate to his children-complete with character voices-when they were growing up.

Samuel Wright is Swill The Pirate; A.J. Nielsen is Sharktooth The Pirate; Bethany Cole Saldana is Pirate Pierre; Teresa Jack is Max The Pirate; Katie Mae Jones is Pirate Seymour Braunschwagger and Lindsey Rodriguez is Pirate Scurvy Dog.

In addition to the show, SCERA is offering a 90-minute post experience that is an optional $5 ticket add on for children 5 and older. Parents are free. Called Pirate Cove, the experience includes a photo with the cast on the set, and seven pirate-themed game and activity stations led by the cast, a Pirate Passport, Pirate Prizes at each station, a free popcorn and more.

"How I Became a Pirate" is also a way for Herrera to celebrate the fall season in a new way. "Years ago, when I first started working for SCERA, I wanted to create something fun for families to do around Halloween. Pirates are so incredibly popular for any age, so I decided to turn the SCERA Courtyard into Pirate Cove. We had a massive main mast at the gates with a huge Jolly Roger that flew at the top. We had games, performers, food, and just a good time. Well, that event kind of begs to return with now doing this show at the Shell. It's kind of a unique opportunity to see a show and then be plunged into some of the atmosphere afterwards."

Cast members will continue their performance after the musical as Pirate Cove guides. They will help families play a variety of games like "Poop Deck Plunder," "The Captain's Key," "A Digger They Be," "Follow The Map" treasure hunt, sword fighting, and other fun carnival style games with a pirate twist.

"One of the highlight games, says Herrera, will be 'Zee Cannon,' where young pirates will launch water balloons more than 70 feet across the Shell to try and hit cut-out ships placed on the opposite side of the Shell."

"Along with these games, participants will get pirate prizes along the way. It's all just an opportunity for parents and kids to come have some fun. We all need some good laughs, some yo-ho, and scallwaggin' right now more than ever. We have been careful to make Pirate Cove safe, distanced, and sanitized. Our costume shop is also making each Pirate Guide a matching mask for their costume."

Herrera admits it is taxing for him to design, create, and execute all the elements. "I find it hard to delegate and still end up with the product I envisioned. I do have an amazing creative team by my side and Danielle Berry, (stage manager) and I always joke that we can do just about anything if you give us a second to figure it out . . . and we always do!"


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