Pirate King? – Utah Shakespeare Festival

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Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of blog posts by actor and choreographer Rat Gutter. He has appeared in numerous roles since 2005, including Tom Tucker HMS Pinafor, Inside Tommy Gilas Music Man,Peter inside Peter and Starcatcher, And this year as The Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance And inside Houdini Ragtime. He also choreographed this season The Greenshow And has choreographed the last asons Music Man, Peter and Starcatcher, And Anything goes.

My job as an actor is to create the inner life and backstory of a character. No matter how silly, or a character above may seem I always try to create a relatable scenario, even if I only know it. For me, the role of the Pirate King proved particularly challenging.

Never seen the play before; And, really, in the first few weeks of rehearsals I would walk around the room with a Jolly Roger tricorn hat and pirate boots with a reckless knife when I became a pirate king. Finally, during a break one afternoon, I asked Brad Carroll, our music director and Gilbert and Sullivan, all residential experts, what he thought. He replied, “Well I never thought of them as real pirates, just a bunch of guys pretending.” It seemed far-reaching and somewhat ridiculous. No one will do it, except. . .

LARPing is an acronym for Live Action Role Playing. You probably saw it while crossing the park. Fully a group of adults wearing costumes and armor, usually carefully designed and homespan, carrying weapons, homespan and not actually dangerous, engage in battle with each other. They often play the role of a character with special abilities, backstory, etc. It may sound silly to some, but I think we all have a child inside who wants to play pretending long after we drop the trunk of our clothes and we’ve got the awesome title of adulthood.

Now, if anyone is very rich, Jeff Bezos said, was to start such a journey. Of course he could buy a complete pirate ship, bring all his friends and do whatever he wanted. (After all, the man bought the most expensive ship ever – the one that took him to the moon.) Even Jeff Bezos for bravery and to show the world that he is more or less a king.

So, look at Jeff Bezos, wrong – I mean, inside The Pirates of Penzance!

Read Blog Post # 1 Read Blog Post # 2

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